By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos – A chimpanzee in the early hours of Sunday escaped from the Jos Wildlife Park injuring a security man who was trying to prevent the animal from leaving the park.
The chimpanzee that had been underfed according to a source in the Park left its cage in search of food and at the time of this report, the animal had returned to the vicinity of its cage and Park staff were trying to make it go back to the cage.
Efforts to speak with the General Manager of the State Tourism Corporation, Mr. John Doy as well as the Park Manager were unsuccessful as their mobile phones were switch off.
However, a staff of the State Ministry for Tourism who did not want to be named told Vanguard, “Yes, this morning, a chimpanzee left its cage but it did not leave the vicinity of the Park. Obviously it was hungry because there has been insufficient food for the animals in recent times.
“Contrary to the claims that the animals are not being fed, I will tell you that the animals are being fed but the food is not enough. Even as human, would you go without food for three or four days?
“Right now, the animal has returned and it is even by its cage and the staff are making efforts to ensure it returns to the cage safely. There is no cause for alarm, we are confident that the animal will return to its cage and no one would be harmed.”
The staff ruled out sabotage adding, “We should not think beyond what happened, no staff would have deliberately opened the cage for the animal to escape just that we can’t say for now how it left the cage.”
It would be recalled that a lion had sometime last year escaped from the same Park, and was eventually shot dead by a security agents.