Twenty-five Barbary macaques escaped from a zoo in the German city of Löffingen on Thursday for several hours.
The monkey troop was first spotted wandering around a local neighborhood. Zoo workers then attempted to capture the macaques, but police said they escaped first and their handlers later lost sight of the group.
By early Thursday evening, the fleeing primates were located and secured.
Police set out to search for the escaped animals, who were arrested on Thursday evening
“The animals apparently took advantage of the good weather and spent the afternoon at the edge of a forest near the zoo,” police said.
Construction work near the zoo may have enabled the monkeys to find an escape route out of the closed compound, police said in a statement.
According to the NGO Barbary Macaque Awareness & Conservation, toddler-sized thick macaques with ginger fur – native to North Africa – are generally harmless, shy and fearful to humans.
Police in Freiburg, in the southwest of Baden-Württemberg, had warned passers-by not to try to feed or catch the macaques, as this could intimidate them or encourage them to prey on them.
mvb / msh (dpa, TBEN)