A GROUP of five primates from the shores of Madagascar explored gardens in Trinity recently after escaping from Jersey Zoo.
The endangered ring-tailed lemurs – which are usually found in the wild in the East African country – were all recaptured just hours after breaking out, with the Durrell team using food to lure the them back.
The creatures were able to escape as a result of trees moving in recent stormy weather, which allowed them to jump out of their enclosure, according to Durrell. The organisation moved to reassure Islanders that the animals posed no risk to the public.
A spokesperson for Durrell said: ‘Jersey Zoo can confirm that a group of five ring-tailed lemurs escaped from the Zoo early on Saturday morning. Ring-tailed lemurs are not dangerous animals, and there was no risk to public safety.
‘All lemurs were found in neighbouring gardens and within a few hours were safely returned by their keepers to the Zoo, where they are being well cared for after their adventure. The Zoo’s expert team are trained to deal with scenarios like this and were able to catch the lemurs using food as bait.’
The spokesperson added: ‘The lemurs managed to escape due to the trees around their enclosure having moved slightly due to the volume of water from recent storms and heavy rain. This allowed the lemurs to jump to a neighbouring tree. The trees are being selectively pruned to prevent this from happening again.
‘The team at Durrell would like to thank neighbours and Trinity honorary police who helped with the search.’
Animals on the run
Geoff, a south-east Asian shortclawed otter, made a daring escape from Jersey Zoo in late 2015. He eventually made his way to a reservoir in St Catherine’s Woods where he was captured on film plunging into the murky water and, seemingly, having an excellent time. But his otter romp missed him and Durrell staff hatched a plan to catch him using his favourite food – de-shelled mussels. His hijinks were brought to an end when he was captured after a month on the loose.
In June 1999, a new type of bright pink figure appeared on the beach in Gorey when a Chilean flamingo escaped from its enclosure at Durrell. It is believed the flamingo later returned to the zoo of its own volition.
Runaway rhea Rosie-Lee was the subject of a week-long hunt in Jersey’s northern parishes in 2015 after she bolted from her pen in a private field when she was spooked by a herd of cows. She was eventually captured in Trinity – after making headlines in the Island’s media.
Rosie the sausage dog caused chaos in Gorey and made national headlines after she broke free from her home and boarded a bus in 2013. Rosie returned home within hours.
In 2017, 70-year-old tortoise Freddie crawled undetected out of the Stanton family’s St Mary garden and, 24 hours later, ended up six miles away in Trinity. Two weeks later he was found and handed unto the tortoise sanctuary.
Fuzzie, a 2½-foot-long ball python, escaped from his enclosure in First Tower in November 2016.