A Swedish zoo has been chastised for shooting three chimps and injuring another after they escaped their enclosure.
The zoo in Furuvik explained that attempting to tranquilize the animals rather than shooting them would have put people’s lives in danger.
Another three chimps have yet to be returned to their enclosure.
The animals were well-known in Sweden, and their deaths sparked outrage.
Mathias Osvath, a researcher who had known them for several years, insisted they posed no real threat. “If I’d met them in the park, my heart rate would have increased, but I wouldn’t have been scared for my life. It’s a calamity, “He told the BBC that.
The incident began on Wednesday around noon (11:00 GMT), when the chimps broke free from their enclosure and began roaming freely throughout the zoo.
It’s unclear how they got away.
Members of the public were not present because the zoo is currently closed for the season, but zoo officials said the escaped animals posed a threat and staff were evacuated or ordered to stay indoors.
“Chimpanzees may appear peaceful, but they are extremely dangerous. They are swift, powerful, and fearless in general “According to a company statement posted on Facebook.
As a result, the zoo claimed it was forced to shoot the animals rather than sedate them with tranquilizer darts, which can only be fired from a short distance.
“This, combined with the fact that anaesthesia can take up to 10 minutes to appear, would pose a significant risk to human safety,” the statement said.
However, the decision to shoot the animals has been widely condemned. A former keeper who had worked with the animals for 30 years accused the zoo of being unprofessional.
“I think they panicked,” Ing-Marie Persson told Swedish public television SVT.
Linda and Torsten, two of the deceased chimps, were identified by the zoo on Friday. A third person was confirmed dead, and another was presumed dead; their names were Santino and Manda.
After years of studying chimps, cognitive zoologists from the University of Lund have decided to end their collaboration with the zoo.
“I’d say I knew them personally. I’ve hugged Manda, kissed Linda, and played tug-of-war with Santino “According to Mathias Osvath, the chimps broke out of their enclosure many years ago when there were visitors inside the zoo.