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Honolulu Zoo chimp exhibit reopens

Allison Schaefers
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The chimpanzee exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo. The exhibit was reopened after being forced to close when a chimpanzee climbed onto the top of the wall.

The Honolulu Zoo reopened its chimpanzee exhibit today.

The city closed the exhibit in May after a chimpanzee climbed onto the top of the wall separating his exhibit and the aviary exhibit. His 10-minute escape was designated as a “code red,” and if he had gone into a public area personnel were instructed to shoot to kill.

The city had been grappling with problems at the chimpanzee exhibit for several years. It made modifications to address a previous escape and to eliminate rust in the holding area. The zoo was faulted by USDA inspectors in 2014 and 2015 for two previous chimpanzee escapes and for rusty enclosures, which inspectors said “compromise the integrity of structures.”

While the zoo improved rock work and installed additional hot wire, the chimpanzees were kept in a back holding area.

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