Some guests said they were not immediately told what kind of animal escaped, leading to rumors of loose animals including tigers.
A Paignton Zoo spokesperson confirmed the escaped animal was a monkey that was re-captured after only a few minutes on the loose.
"Earlier today, staff at Paignton Zoo had to attend to an incident involving an escaped monkey," the spokesperson told Devon Live. "As a precautionary measure, zoo visitors were evacuated from the area in accordance with our well-rehearsed escaped animal procedure and the animal was re-captured without incident shortly after the alert was raised."
The spokesperson said an investigation has been opened into how the primate managed to escape the monkey enclosure.