Four monkeys shot dead after sparking panic when they escaped from zoo enclosure

Five chimpanzees ignited fear after escaping from their zoo enclosure before four were subsequently shot dead.

The escape of the five chimps occurred on Wednesday (December 14) at Furuvik Zoo in Sweden.

The spokesperson for the zoo, Annika Troselius, told the Swedish media outlet Expressen that the animals were forced to be euthanised due to the lack of tranquiliser that would have subdued the apes.

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While four have died, according to Expressen, the fifth missing primate is understood to have returned to the enclosure safely.

Following the incident, in fear of potential attacks, the public were asked to stay indoors.

It remains unclear how the monkeys were able to escape the enclosure with Troselius insisting that the zoo's main focus on capturing the animals were that "no human gets hurt".

She did however express the tragic nature of the deaths of the chimps but added that there was no other option to be considered.

Troselius' view was perhaps not the consensus perspective as Ing-Marie Persson, the primate manager of the zoo for 30 years, labelled the killings as deplorable.

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Calling the chimps her "best friends" and part of her "family", Persson said that their deaths had broken her heart as she spoke to Afton Bladet on the devastating circumstances.

She said: "It should not have been necessary to shoot the escaped monkeys. It is deplorable. So poorly done."

Instead of being shot, Persson said that the animals should have been stunned while staff loaded guns with anaesthetic when news of the escape had become clear.

Due to the seriousness of the incident, the zoo has said that an investigation will be initiated to get to the root of how the tragedy occurred and will aim to make sure this is an aberration of an event.

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