All entries for Monday 06 July 2009

July 06, 2009

Chimp Escape

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/8135603.stm

Read the one about the thirty chimps who escaped from their pen at Chester Zoo causing the whole thing to be evacuated? Guess who was there? Ya, twas Hollyzone. Me and five thousand other punters were evacuated from the zoo at about lunchtime yesterday in an incident that can only be described as “becoming a theme” after I managed to get evacuated from Birmingham New Street station two weeks ago. Coming up this week I will get evacuated from a concert, a game of ten pin bowling, a pub and a nuclear submarine.

And what was learnt from the chimpery?

  • Chester Zoo practises for animal escapes a lot, but there hasn’t been one for at least four years according to the zookeeper I spoke to.
  • Chimps are one of the worst animals to escape because they are big, strong, clever and have opposable thumbs.
  • However, even when they do escape, they are only really after tasty things, hence why they didn’t even make it out of monkey house, only into the kitchen. According to the keeper “they’re in the right building, just not where we want them”.
  • People don’t like it very much if you joke that it’s the jaguars which have escaped.
  • People are worse than animals in a lot of ways – all the chimps wanted was nuts from the kitchen. When it became apparent that this meant the zoo was closed for the day several humans got loud and aggressive, so much so the tills which had been opened to give refunds had to close, and some remained badly behaved as they tried to leave. There was much honking of horns and general impatience despite the fact even a chimp could work out that five thousand people cannot leave a place at once without a queue forming.
  • As part of the entry fee one can donate a small amount to Chester Zoo via gift aid as a donation. It’s optional but often taken up. In the queue Hollyzone was in to get refunds there were probably several hundred people. Hollyzone was the only one to enquire as to whether it was possible to have only the entry fee refunded, and not the donation which was, after all, a donation. Apparently due to paying on card this was not possible. It’s a bit sad that no one else thought to ask. Sure, claim the entry fee back, but a donation’s a donation, surely?
  • The BBC News website reported the whole thing under it’s Merseyside News banner. Chester ain’t in Merseyside. The clue’s in the title, it’s in Cheshire. This is very annoying. All that effort I went to growing up there and the BBC (paid for by my license fee) can’t even be bothered to say the place exists. Typical. Bet the chimps would care.

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