For those of you who have wondered whatever happened to the monkey who escaped from the zoo and kept Memphis enthralled for days, here's the latest report, shared from the Commercial Appeal:
Zimm, a 3-year-old Sulawesi macaque, remains behind the scenes after her July 9 escape from her enclosure at the Memphis Zoo. The entire exhibit is still closed to the public; she and her zoomates are together in the “night house.”A recent report gives new details on how the monkey was able to escape her enclosure and on efforts to capture her.
After the escape, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums assessed Zimm’s exhibit and similar ones, which is standard, said Angie Whitfield, director of marketing and communications at the Memphis Zoo.Zimm maneuvered through two security measures: a “hot-wire” and an inverted incline on the back wall of the exhibit. Zimm scaled the back wall, constructed of large gunite stone blocks.
“The grout lines between the blocks were recessed allowing the monkey to grip the stone edges and traverse horizontally over her moat and out of the exhibit,” the report said.The report notes that this is the first instance of an animal escaping the 20-year-old enclosure.Senior veterinarian Felicia Knightly hit one of Zimm’s hind legs with a tranquilizing dart, but the drug did not sedate her.
Zimm then managed to climb the fence and jump into the drainage ditch, despite staffers on the other side. She ran about 75 yards into a culvert that drains stormwater from the zoo’s Northwest Passage and Teton Trek exhibits, according to the report.
The report states from there, zoo staff left the monkey with a trap baited with fruit and closed the culvert opening with wire mesh while checking the blueprints of the culvert. Zimm had access to at least a mile of underground pipes, and the only way out was the way she came in.
When Zimm responded to the bait, staff took her to the vet where she was “immobilized and thoroughly examined,” according to the report.Whitfield said one solution from the AZA includes sending Zimm, the only one of her kind here, to another zoo. She said it is common for zoos to discuss transporting animals to new facilities regardless of the situation.
In addition to the AZA, the USDA also performed an inspection, which Whitfield said was a standard procedure. A repair to the entire exhibit’s grout lines began July 16.Whitfield said reports are complete, but zoo officials are not awaiting anyone’s permission to release the animals back into the enclosure.“She’s still having interaction with other animals,” she said of Zimm
. “Internally, we’re trying to find what the next best steps are for her.”Zoo spokeswoman Laura Doty said no date has been set to bring Zimm and the other animals in the exhibit back on display, but that everyone will know when she returns.