Orang Escape Closes Oz Zoo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 12th, 2009

An Australian zoo was evacuated Sunday, May 10, 2009, when a “notorious” (as characterized in media reports) orangutan escaped her enclosure by short-circuiting an electric fence.

Adelaide zoo officials said patrons were evacuated as a precaution hours after the 26-year-old Karta (shown above) escaped.

Karta gained access to a side garden-bed, where she caught hold of a stick and used it to short-circuit the electric wires around her enclosure before piling up some more sticks to climb out.

Pusung and Karta

The incident comes after the recent death of her former mate Pusung on April 15, 2009, but keepers do not believe that sparked this escape attempt. (Now why won’t the death of her mate create upset and behavior disruption?)

Staff will now carry out an extensive review of the enclosure’s security to ensure Karta, or her current mate Kluet, do not outsmart the system again.


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Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

5 Responses to “Orang Escape Closes Oz Zoo”

  1. Quakerhead responds:

    There was a similar orangutan escape at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans a few months ago. For the last few years, t-shirts were given to the orangs on occasion and were treated as favorite enrichment items. Barani, a young male Sumatran orangutan, wrapped one of the t-shirts around the electric wires and climbed out. About 10 minutes later, he had about enough excitement and calmly climbed back into his exhibit. The electric wires were not set to harm the animals but only to give them a mild scare if touched in order to discourage escape but Barani apparently had the system figured out. T-shirts are no longer given to the orangs.

  2. DWA responds:

    Primatology, anthropology and crypto can all really learn from this one and from the many like it we have been reading lately.

    Why? Well, that whole two-legged thing, of course.

    What clearly (just read the literature) leads to a whole lot of public incredulity on the sasquatch is the apparent bipedality of the animal, and its humanlike feet. Many many folks out there seem so wedded to the idea that bipedalism is a key contributor to our intelligence (freeing the hands frees the mind, yadayadayada) that it’s become an irreducible hallmark of humanity to them, as much an intelligence indicator to some as the very brain itself. We’re the only animal that is smart enough to walk on two legs and “our own two feet,” and the only animal bipedal enough to be that smart.

    Here’s yet another piece of evidence that you don’t have to go everywhere on two legs and humanlike feet – or be human, for that matter – to be very damn smart.

    Smart enough, in fact, to want out of the cage where your mate died because you need to put all that behind you and Move On. It would be a slam-dunk finalist, if Karta were human.

  3. cryptidsrus responds:

    Smart Orang.
    Glad she was captured, though.
    She would not be better off in the outside world.

  4. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Maybe it’s high time we realize we need to keep these cousins of ours in other kind of facilities. Not an ordinary Zoo, maybe something more like a ‘gathering of primates’ if you will —although I don’t have a clear idea of how such a place would be like.

  5. ausieGirl responds:

    when i saw this on the news they said they thought she might have been trying to find her (late)mate, as she got out, and the got back in again. poor thing, it’s so said.

    i agree with red_pill_junkie, all zoos, even the “good” ones should be improved to better re-create their natural home, the money this would cost however presents a clear problem.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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