A large orangutan attempted to escape from Tama Zoo in Tokyo yesterday, frightening some children who burst into tears, while zoo staff fully mobilized in order to contain and then shoot the beast with a tranquilizing dart. The male orangutan grows to around 5ft tall and can weigh up to 200 pounds.
In this case, the oversized orangutan was actually a man in a costume and the whole episode was a drill that the zoo holds annually. Last year's "escapee" was a lion.
Once found throughout Southeast Asia, this species of ape now survives only in small populations across the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. The orangutan is the largest tree dwelling mammal.
The real orangs at the zoo - there are four - weren't sure what to make of it all as they watched from their 1 billion yen (US$8.3 million) enclosure, which took 2 years to build and features ropeways they can use to swing between high towers. Perhaps they were thinking, "Crazy humans".