These animal escape artists made daring bids for freedom. What would you do if you saw these big beasts strolling down your high street?
1. Chacha the chimp
A resident of Yagiyama Zoological Park in northern Japan, Chacha, 24, made his daring escape in April 2016. The male chimp evaded capture for two hours, swinging from power lines. After screaming at rescue workers, Chacha was eventually shot with a sedative. He sustained a few cuts and bumps but was safely returned to his enclosure.
2. Sabu the elephant
In June 2010, five-tonne Sabu escaped from his handlers at the travelling Circus Knie and took a stroll around the Swiss city of Zurich. Roads were closed and residents fled in fear but Sabu seemed unconcerned by his adventure. A Zurich police officer told the Press: ‘He didn’t run, didn’t chase anyone, he caused very little damage and no-one was hurt.’ He was recaptured after two hours.
3. Rusty the red panda
Rusty became a furry fugitive when he did a runner from his home at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. in June 2013. His jaunt lasted just a few hours after he was spotted by a young family in a residential neighbourhood of the city. The zoo don’t know how Rusty escaped but one employee commented: ‘He’s a young male, and we all know how young males like to test their boundaries.’ He’s since become a dad to three cubs.
4. Lima the zebra
February 2010 saw a high speed police chase on a highway in Atlanta, Georgia and the culprit was a runaway zebra. Lima broke free of his trainers at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and took off on a 40 minute chase before he could be captured. Unbelievably, Lima wasn’t the first zebra to be found on that stretch of road. Two years before another wayward zebra, called Evidence, was recovered from the Interstate 75.
5. Begi the hippo
When a devastating flood hit the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in June 2015, at least 20 died and families were left homeless. At Tbilisi Zoo 300 animals also lost their lives. One survivor was Begi, a hippopotamus, who was able to escape from his damaged enclosure. He was eventually returned safely, but the pictures of him making his way to the city’s Heroes Square became an enduring image of the tragedy.
6. Penguin 337
One-year-old Humboldt penguin, known only as 337, staged a plucky escape from his home at Tokyo Sea Life Park in March 2012. His bid for freedom involved scaling a cliff face and negotiating a barbed wire fence, but he made it to Tokyo Bay unscathed. He was spotted paddling in the waters many times and aquarium workers feared that 337 – who’d been born in captivity – would come a cropper of predators or pollution. But when he was caputured three months on, all he was suffering from was a touch of conjunctivitis. This animal escape attempt was likened to the animated hit movie, Madagascar.
7. Inky the octopus
Inky the octopus proved to be one slippery customer when he made his escape from his tank at National Aquarium of New Zealand. He legged it in April 2016, slipping out of a small gap at the top of his enclosure before making his way across the floor to a narrow drainpipe which lead directly to the sea. There will be no attempt to recover Inky whose intrepid escape made him a worldwide sensation. He could be the next Finding Nemo!