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Apes monkey about during swing for freedom

An ape and her baby made a bid for freedom today after they swung off their island in Dublin Zoo into the main complex.

Around 200 visitors were forced indoors as staff attempted to capture Gizmo and mother Sasak as they monkeyed about.

Dublin Zoo stressed strict procedures were followed and that the pair were contained and returned safely to their habitat within half an hour.

No one was injured during the incident and no risk was posed to people in the area.

Veronica Chrisp of Dublin Zoo said the alarm was raised at around 10am when the medium-sized primate jumped on to a low branch and crossed the water which surrounded her enclosure.

Visitors were ordered inside restaurants and other buildings around the complex until the adventurers were caught.

"We just shut everybody away to keep the zoo very quiet so that we weren't distracting her and the baby at all," Ms Chrisp said. "These gibbons are built for swinging from tree to tree. Obviously, she just saw the low branch and went for it.

"I don't think she had any intention of going too far away. They never left the vicinity of their home, really, so it wasn't a major problem."