1. Alphie - Japanese Macaque
Alphie escaped from the Pittsburgh Zoo in 1987. He went on a tour of the local countryside, showing up as a simian version of Where’s Waldo before finally being captured in Ohio six months later.
2. Unnamed Female - Gorilla
Pittsburgh just can’t contain their attractions! The unnamed female vaulted the sixteen foot wide dry moat to grab an untrimmed piece of inch wide bamboo. She used this to climb the sixteen foot wall and then hopped the four foot retaining wall. Her hour long reign of terror over the zoo’s garbage cans ended when she was lured into the women’s restroom with Hershey kisses.
3. Satara - White Rhino
When the Monarto Zoo in Australia chose to let Satara’s lady friend mate with a younger male, the 18 year old white rhino broke out of his enclosure. He spent several hours in vain trying to find a way to confront his replacement while zoo employees pelted him with tranquilizer darts (to no effect). Satara eventually got back to his own enclosure…on his own and forever alone.
4. Karta - Orangutan
Adelaide Zoo, again in Australia, is home to an electrical orangutan. Using a stick to keep from shocking herself, Karta twisted together the wires around her enclosure, causing a short circuit via power surge. Once free, she piled up nearby stones to make it easier to climb the concrete retainer wall. On top of the wall, she engaged in a thirty minute stare-off with zoo keepers before finally thinking better of the situation and jumping back down to her cage.
5. Ken Allen - Orangutan
However, Karta isn’t the King of Orangutan escape. Born and raised at the San Diego Zoo, Ken Allen wanted freedom. Dubbed the Hairy Houdini, Allen escaped three times in the summer of 1985, spending each exhibition wandering the zoo grounds and looking at the other exhibits. Baffled as to how he escaped, zoo keepers tried to get video surveillance but Ken was on to them and continued to slip past. Even with employees undercover as tourists, the orangutan was able to spot them and avoid detection. Only when other apes started to escape with Ken did zoo officials give up; spending over $40,000 on renovations to the enclosure and ending Ken Allen’s mini-vacations.
6. Chuva - Macaw
Even clipped wings couldn’t keep this Greater Vancouver Zoo resident down. To this day, no one is quite sure how Chuva was able to evade detection and escape her habitat. However, three days after she went missing, the macaw turned up on the undercarriage of an RV. Hungry and thirsty, but no worse the wear for her adventure.
7. Nikica - Hippo
A flood on the island of Montenegro allowed 11 year old Nikica (pictured at left) to escape from the private zoo where she lived. With the zoo underwater, the intrepid hippo visited her owner daily at a restaurant run by him and his brother; receiving bread, hay and freedom.
8. The Herd - Bison
The buffalo need to roam and these nine Oakland Zoo residents made it a reality. Busting down the gate to their enclosure, the herd wandered a bit, snacking on poison oak in lieu of the hay being used to entice them home. Zoo keepers finally made headway when the bison realized Wonder Bread tasted better than leaves and followed the trail back to their habitat.
9. Reggie - American Alligator
You know that urban legend about gators in cities, let loose by overwhelmed pet owners? Reggie is a living example. Dumped in an urban lake in L.A., Reggie evaded capture for two years; costing the city over $180,000 and a lot of pride. When he was finally brought in and wrangled into L.A. Zoo, he showed them all how he felt about this indignity by immediately climbing the five foot wall around his area to go lounge by the loading dock.