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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Contact: Mayor Caldwell’s Press Office, 768-5768


Chimpanzee exhibit to be repaired and modified, reopen in one month


Waikiki – Last Thursday, June 25, 2014, Pu‘iwa, a soon-to-be 15 year old chimpanzee, escaped from his exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo for less than one hour and was recaptured without incident or injury.  A visitor alerted zoo staff when Pu‘iwa climbed the retaining wall of the chimpanzee exhibit and zoo visitors were immediately ushered to a protected area for their and Pu‘iwa’s safety.


The zoo capture team formed a perimeter around Pu‘iwa and subdued him with a single tranquilizer dart, then he returned to his exhibit.  Staff reintegrated Pu‘iwa, who appears to be recovering well, with his troop and all eight of the zoo’s chimpanzees have been living in their sleeping quarters while mitigative repairs are made.


A thorough investigation revealed that Pu‘iwa was able to escape to the outer edge of the exhibit due to damage sustained to the chimpanzee exhibit wall.  The zoo is expediting the repair and modification to the exhibit and anticipates reopening it in approximately four weeks.  We appreciate the public’s patience while these necessary repairs are made and commend zoo staff for ensuring the safety of the public and Pu‘iwa in a difficult situation.