Ape named Elvis escapes on 35th anniversary of Elvis Pressley's death

Published On: Aug 18 2012 08:10:18 AM HST

The Honolulu Zoo officials closed one of its exhibits after an ape, a siamang gibbon escaped by jumping over a wall.

Zookeepers say they have never seen one of their siamang gibbons make this kind of a leap to escape.

"I think he gave everyone a heart attack here," said Honolulu Zoo Director Manuel Mollinedo.

It happened Thursday afternoon, while the zoo was open.

Groundskeepers were doing regular maintenance work, when the male gibbon showed some interest in what was happening.

The male ape named Elvis jumped over a wall surrounding a moat that's been at the zoo since the 1940s.

He did it on the same day Elvis Presley fans in Memphis were paying homage the King of rock and roll on the 35th anniversary of his death. 

"Maybe there was some kind of omen out there.  Elvis is still around," said Mollinedo. 

Workers sent out a code red to alert staff of an escaped animal.

Mollinedo says the entire ordeal lasted less than 15  minutes. 

The zoo stayed open, while the immediate surrounding area was evacuated.

Officials are in the process of finding a different exhibit for the siamang gibbons.

They say it could take about two months before the apes can be seen by visitors.


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