Sudi goes for stroll
By SASHA HARRINANAN Thursday, September 26 2013
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SUDI'S STROLL: Sudi, a 45-year-old chimp on a stroll at the Emperor Valley Zoo yesterday after somehow escaping from her enclosure....
SUDI the chimpanzee went for a leisurely stroll through the Emperor Valley Zoo, Port-of- Spain yesterday morning after somehow managing to escape from her enclosure at 8.30 am.
The zoo was not yet open to the public at the time Sudi went for her morning exercise.
However, it was a short lived taste of freedom for the chimp as the roughly 50 staff members on duty were alerted and Zoo Curator Nirmal Biptah, activated procedures to contain and recapture the animal.
Estimated to be 45 years old, Sudi has called the zoo her home for more than 30 years. She was hand-raised since birth in Canada and is habituated to the presence of humans. Perhaps that’s why rather than make a dash for freedom, Sudi chose to spend some time looking at the replica of a Leatherback Turtle, located opposite the zoo’s public entrance, before walking past the Otter enclosure en route to check out the crocodile and several caimans in ponds located down an incline.
After observing her neighbours, the chimp walked back uphill toward the metal entrance gates. After checking out the view, Sudi decided to test her climbing skills on a nearby tree. Biptah and other zookeepers on duty at the time were closely monitoring the chimp, trying to coax her back into her enclosure.
“But Sudi wasn’t interested in doing that. So a decision was taken,” Biptah told Newsday, “to sedate her on her descent from the tree. This way, we were able to place her in a holding area behind her enclosure, without the risk of possible injury to either Sudi or staff.”
Sudi recovered from the sedative at 3.30 pm and showed no sign of any side effects. In fact, she was, “up and about as normal,” Biptah said. Another zookeeper joked that Sudi will not be asked to pay any fee for her leisure stroll, as all of her human counterparts must do, before entering the facility.
Sudi was kept out of the public area of the zoo yesterday while zookeepers continued to monitor her. She was due to be returned to her enclosure last night and if all goes well, visitors would be allowed to see her today.
The chimp was most recently highlighted in the 7 pm newscast of at least one television station on Republic Day, eating a snow cone, which is one of her regular treats on a hot day.
Biptah has been requested to conduct a full investigation into sudi’s escape, which he expects to complete either today or tomorrow, depending on the time of a second round of meetings today with the three zookeepers who were on duty near Sudi’s enclosure at the time of her escape.