Honolulu Zoo to repair, improve chimpanzee exhibit after escape

We’re learning more about what the Honolulu Zoo is doing to improve its chimpanzee exhibit.

On May 15, a chimpanzee named Puiwa managed to escape the enclosure by creating a fingerhold and scaling the wall.

He managed to do so despite hot wires that form an electrical fence around the enclosure’s perimeter.

Zoo officials say staff worked with contractors and consultants to assess, analyze, and design repairs and improvements to the exhibit.

“Repairs and improvements will be made to the rock wall and additional hot wire will be installed,” said Tracy Kubota, deputy director of the city Department of Enterprise Services. “The chimps are currently off-exhibit and are comfortable in their day pen holding area. The day pen includes their night quarters (individual bedrooms) which they have full access to 24 hours/day.”

Work is expected to take roughly seven to eight weeks to complete. The exhibit will remain closed until then.

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