We've said it once, we'll say it again — animals are just like people. And just like certain types of people, animals can grow tired of their daily routine and surroundings. Some curious creatures want to know what else is out there in the animal kingdom, and with a passion for adventure and a mind full of wonder, these crafty rovers will do just about anything to find out. Meet 12 animal escape artists who have bewildered their human counterparts.
Sure, cat owners have found their furballs in some of the most unsuspecting and unusual places, but Ksyusha the kitten takes the cake on unique hiding places. Her owner, Yurly Korotun, did not know her tiny Persian princess loved concealing herself until she walked into the kitchen one day and heard rattling on the shelf. Ksyusha had managed to stick herself into a tiny pickle jar! From extremely tight spaces to large washing machines, Korotun is constantly surprised by Ksyusha's mysterious getaways. (The Daily Mail)
Locals in Imola, Italy, were surprised to see a giraffe wandering through the streets last month. The animal had escaped from a circus and decided to spend a few hours sightseeing. From running through town to casually strolling the streets, the giraffe took in all the sights and sounds of Imola. Eventually, the giraffe had to be tranquilized and died shortly after being captured. Vets attributed it to cardiac arrest. We hope he had a fun few last days of his life!
Although Chuva the macaw had her wings clipped, it did not stop her from getting past the walls of the Greater Vancouver Zoo. When the bird disappeared from her parrot garden one afternoon, keepers were curious as to how she managed to fly away. A few days later, she was spotted alive and well under a family's RV, sitting pretty near the engine. The family called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and reported the missing bird. Chuva was safely returned to the zoo, but her escape remains a true mystery. (Metro News)
13-year-old CJ the chimp made it clear that he had a lot of the world to see and that staying enclosed at a private home in Las Vegas just wasn't going to cut it. CJ escaped not once, but twice, in the month of July. The first time, CJ tried to fly the coop with his friend Buddy. Sadly, the police shot and killed Buddy after he charged at the neighbors. During CJ's second escape, the 180-pound chimp walked through her neighborhood and played with a garden hose. She was then taken in by an animal control officer and returned to her caretaker. If CJ's criminal record can teach us anything, it's that exotic animals should not be kept in captivity.
What would you do if you opened the cargo door of an airplane and found a crocodile roaming around? Think you were in the movie "Jumanji?" This made-for-a-movie scenario actually happened to an Australian baggage handler. The reptile had escaped its transport container during a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne. A spokesman for Qantas said the crocodile was quickly and safely secured after the aircraft arrived in Melbourne. Perhaps he was trying to skydive? The world will never know.
PARTNERS IN CRIME
Gorilla escapes are not new or amusing to keepers at Los Angeles Zoo. It has actually become a somewhat frequent problem over the years. Two examples: Evelyn and Jim. Evelyn is a 24-year-old female Gorilla who has escaped her habitat at least four times, using various methods, such as jumping onto a companion's backs to climb over the wall and swinging on a stray vine across the moat. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Jim once ripped a door off its hinges and squeezed through a narrow opening to escape. This dynamic duo's antics were a good thing in retrospect — they forced the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums to further review the Los Angeles Zoo's accreditation. (ABC NEWS)
BREAKING AND ENTERING
Frosty the goat answers to no one. While she isn't escaping her home, she is still technically breaking and entering somewhere she's not allowed to be. According to her keeper, Frosty has a bag of tricks. One of which has bewildered her to no end. Frosty breaks into the feeding room and helps herself to breakfast quite frequently. Although she only has two teeth, the goat still manages to open the door handle, pull back the door and let herself in. Even after being scolded, she continues to do this. Watch her in action here.
THE ULTIMATE ESCAPE
There are animal escape artists and then there's Fu Manchu. The late orangutan, who lived at Omaha Zoo, repeatedly baffled zookeepers with his escape tactics. Keepers would frequently find Fu Manchu lounging around the trees outside of his exhibit when they'd come in for work in the morning. Finally, they decided to install high-tech surveillance cameras to see what was truly going on. Footage revealed that the nimble orangutan would climb into the air vents connected to his enclosure and follow them to a dry moat surrounding his exhibit. Inside that moat was a locked door. As if that weren't amazing enough, zookeepers witnessed Fu taking a piece of metal wiring he kept hidden under his cheek throughout the day to pick the door's lock with it! No one knows for certain how he learned to be so sly. (Seattle Times)
Animals have been escaping since they've been in captivity. In 1965, one golden eagle gave zookeepers a run for they money when he escaped twice from the central London Zoo. His first escape was short-lived. However, his second escape lasted 12 days! Goldie outsmarted his handlers and spent his free days soaring not just around the park, but also around town! The Navy was even called in to help try and capture Goldie in a net. It was speculated that Goldie returned because he was hungry. He did not put up a fight when he came back. The keeper caught him with his bare hands and took him back to the zoo. Goldie may have been sad to be back in his enclosure, but he was happy to see that the number of visitors nearly doubled when he returned. (BBC)
A 12-year-old mischievous terrier named Scruffy has proved time and time again to the Welsh animal welfare organization that he is one tenacious dog. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the first breakout was unfortunately due to a bad home situation Scruffy was in. But just two days after moving in to his new home, Scruffy managed to escape. He jumped over a wall, made his way through a dense hedge and found himself walking down a busy road. The RSCPA worker who had rescued him the first time recognized Scruffy when she found him again. His new owners were thrilled for his return. Scruffy had no reason to leave his new happy household situation, but maybe he left something at his old place. A toothbrush, perhaps? (BBC)
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
Reggie believes that life is not a sprint, it's a marathon. The adept alligator was able to elude animal control officials for two years by hiding out in Los Angeles' Lake Machado. Paparazzi and newfound fans would gather around the lake in hopes of seeing him, but they, too, could not catch a glimpse of the alligator. Even Steve Irwin offered his expertise to capture Reggie. Finally, on one afternoon, the alligator was spotted sunning itself in an open fence. Five or six men wrestled to restrain the thrashing alligator until his jaws were duct-taped shut. Firefighters strapped him to a board and transported him to a zoo. It was concluded that Reggie had been an illegal pet who outgrew its welcome and was tossed into the 50-acre-lake. (FOX)
Next: 12 Most Dangerous Pets
BERLIN'S MOST FAMOUS BEAR
Zookeepers aren't sure why Juan the Andean bear escaped his enclosure, but his epic story is one that could've earned him a children's book deal at the very least. One August day in 2004, Juan decided to go on an adventure across Berlin Zoo. He started out by paddling across a moat using a log. Then, he scaled a wall. Bystanders watched and even began to film the bear's escape instead of protecting their children. They were so amused by Juan's ambition! Juan was almost in the clear when zookeepers cornered him. He had managed to steal a bike for his final getaway, but zookeepers put a hold on his dreams. We wonder where he would've ended up if they let Juan go. (BBC)