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Kids spot zoo ape's break for freedom.

Byline: By ED CARTY

An adventurous orangutan made a bold bid for freedom at Dublin Zoo yesterday.

Mother Maggie left her baby Mujur behind and managedto enjoyanhouron the loose wandering around in front of her enclosure.

Agroup of 26 schoolchildren and their two teachers from ScoilMhuire gan Smal in Dublin's Inchicore raised the alarm.

They had been standing admiring the other two adult orang-utans when one of the 12-year-olds spotted the animal on the loose only yards away.

Keepers believe the 26-year-old ape made a long stretch for branches at the edge of the compound, grabbed a wall and climbed over at around midday.

The alarm was raised withinminutes but it was an hour before zookeepers managedto confront Maggie and shoot her with a tranquilliser dart gun.

Seeing the error of her daring escape attempt the unharmed but groggy Maggieslowlymadeherway back to the enclosure.

A zoo spokeswoman said the animal spent the evening sleeping off the effects of the sedatives.

She added: "Having been in the same habitat for 24 years she seemingly decided shewouldmakeher way out."

It is not known why the normally protective Maggie, who weighs a trim 34 kilos, decided to leave her two-and-a-half-year-old baby behind and swing for freedom.

CAPTION(S):

AGILE: A primate
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 3, 2008
Words:208
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