The keepers were baffled as to how he had gotten out. They knew he was good--he had previously been seen climbing a freaking ladder made from random materials found in his exhibit--but there was no evidence that any such device had been used this time.
So the zoo took every precaution they could think of--higher walls, smoother surfaces--to ensure there were no handholds available. They even introduced new females into the enclosure, hoping to turn his wanderlust into plain old dong-driven lust. But to no avail. With each new barrier placed in his way, Ken still managed to find his way out again and again.
Perhaps if the females had been orangutans...
They eventually put extra surveillance on him to try to figure out his method, but the smart bastard always knew when they were watching him (somehow). Staff actually had to go undercover, disguising themselves as tourists, hoping a gaudy shirt and wig would be enough to convince the orangutan that it was safe to make a break for it. Nothing doing. He always knew to wait until they were gone.
Once, he even used the surveillance to his advantage, when he enlisted the help of fellow orangutan Vicki after workmen left a crow bar in the exhibit. He looked over the tool, and threw it off to the side, as if disinterested. While the keepers had their eyes on him, Vicki picked up the crow bar and got busy prying open the molding between two glass panels.
A newly installed electric fence did keep him from getting all the way out, and staff figured this was the end of their escaping orangutan problems. Then, one day, they were doing work around the enclosure that meant they had to shut down the power. Somehow, Ken Allen knew. He went for it and, despite the wider moat and smoother walls built to contain him in such an event, he had no problems finding his way out--for the fifth time.
Life finds a way.
His escape attempts led to him becoming the zoo's most famous ape, with his own range of merchandise carried by the zoo shop. Great job by marketing spinning the "our animals are desperate to escape the hell that is our zoo" thing into a positive.
For more animals that need to be closely monitored, check out 5 Diabolical Animals That Out-Witted Humans. Or check out some humans that rival these animals, in 6 Insane Prison Escapes That Actually Happened.
And stop by Linkstorm (Updated 08.25.10) to see videos of Brockway trying to escape his dog cage.
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