Melbourne Zoo went into lockdown on Monday after an orangutan escaped its enclosure.
Visitors were whisked into secure buildings, while the 11-year-old orangutan was on the loose in public areas for about an hour.
The Sumatran orangutan, named Malu, was eventually sedated with a tranquiliser, a zoo spokeswoman said.
The orangutan Malu. Photo: Zoos Victoria
“Melbourne Zoo staff acted quickly to lock down the zoo and all visitors have been safely ushered into secure areas,” the spokeswoman said.
Bendigo woman Justine Cowling, who was at the zoo with her family as the drama unfolded, said the orangutan appeared to use a blanket to make his escape.
“It escaped by using the blanket as leverage to break the top wire of its enclosure,” Ms Cowling told the Bendigo Advertiser.
“It pulled itself up and out and walked along the roof of the enclosure.”
Melbourne Zoo said the orangutan was captured and secured shortly before 4.30pm.
“Malu has been secured in an undercover area of the zoo with keepers and vets on hand to assist,” the spokeswoman said.
The zoo later said, via Twitter, that Malu had been returned to his night quarters.