Orangutans escape enclosures at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Kansas City Zoo

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  July 5, 2016 at 10:47 AM
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TAMPA, Fla., July 5 (UPI) -- An orangutan at Florida's Busch Gardens Tampa Bay theme park escaped from her enclosure and fell out of a tree near visitors.

A representative for the Tampa theme park confirmed an 18-year-old orangutan named Luna Bella somehow got out of her enclosure in the park's Jungala area around 4:30 p.m. Friday and a video posted to Instagram by user @cardsfanaddict shows the primate in a tree moments after the escape.

A video posted to Twitter by Bryan Clor shows a large group of park visitors gathering to watch the orangutan as it appears to watch them back from a nearby tree.

Park-goer Guillermo Ramos said he captured video of onlookers screaming as a branch broke beneath the orangutan and she fell toward the ground.

"People kind of jumped back and that's when security jumped in and pushed us all back," Ramos told WTSP-TV. "They were just saying, 'Get back. Everyone get back!'"

Park employees reported about 6 p.m. Friday that Luna Bella had been tranquilized and returned to her enclosure.

"The animal care team responded immediately and the animal is back safely and securely in the habitat without incident," a Busch Gardens representative said in a statement provided to ABC News. "The safety of our guests, employees and animals is our number one priority."

The park said Luna Bella, who previously mounted a short-lived escape in 2008 when she scaled a 12-foot window, was doing well and recovering from the excitement of her brief escape Saturday.

Friday's incident came just two weeks after a 10-year-old orangutan names Madju briefly escaped its enclosure June 16. The orangutan was quickly recaptured and returned to its habitat, the park said.

The Kansas City Zoo said a 7-year-old female orangutan named Kalijon briefly escaped her enclosure Sunday and was recaptured without any contact with zoo visitors. The zoo said officials did not use tranquilizers to recapture Kalijon.

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