Animals can sometimes be very mischievous and there have been many cases where some of them have escaped from a zoo, but only a chosen few of them can truly be considered escape artists. So, without further ado, we will now take a look at some of the most famous escape artists from the animal world.
Fu Manchu, the orangutan
Fu Manchu is not the only orangutan on our list, which means that these animals are true escape artists. Fu Manchu didn’t actually escape from the Omaha Zoo where he was a resident, but he was, more than once, found outside of his exhibit. His lock-picking skills became legendary after Zoo officials installed surveillance cameras to see how he gets out of his exhibit. It turned out that he was able to unlock the doors that employees used with a tiny piece of metal wiring he always kept hidden in his mouth! I guess he was a true animal Houdini.
1 / 12
Masala, the red panda
This sweet red panda caused quite the commotion in 2015 when she escaped her exhibit in the Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka, California. It is believed that she somehow managed to scale the fence and get out. More than 200 volunteers joined the search and after more than 2 days of looking, the mischievous little bugger was finally found by a local resident. He saw Masala wandering around and called the police. Two hours later, after some persuasion with bamboo treats, Masala was finally brought back to the safety of her enclosure.
2 / 12
Egyptian cobra at the Bronx Zoo
An unnamed cobra slithered out from the Bronx Zoo in 2011, which made her a true Internet and media celebrity. Her anonymous Twitter account reached almost 200,000 followers and people tuned in on a regular basis to see whether she had been found. After five days of intensive search, the cobra turned up in the reptile house, and it turned out that she was actually inside the nonpublic area of the reptile house all along.
3 / 12
Kumbuka, the silverback gorilla
When a 400-pound gorilla gets out of his zoo enclosure, chaos is bound to ensue. That is exactly what happened in 2016 in London’s ZSL Zoo when Kumbuka escaped his enclosure, causing the zoo to go into the lockdown mode for two hours until he was tranquilized and taken back to his enclosure. However, Kumbuka didn’t actually get out of his enclosure by breaking the door or unlocking it, he just went into stealth mode when he saw the opportunity to get out due to the security failure.
4 / 12
Cyril, the sea lion
Another escaping incident occurred in London, but this time not in England, but in London, Ontario. In 1958, a sea lion called Cyril pulled off a remarkable escape by swimming away from his enclosure in Storybook Gardens Zoo. He went on a long journey through the Lake Erie, then across the border and ended up in Sandusky, Ohio. After spending some time at the Toledo Zoo, he was sent back to his home in Canada.
5 / 12
Virginia, the wolf
Virginia is perhaps the most surprising entry on this list, not because she is a wolf, but because she did something completely unexpected in order to get out of her enclosure. She actually managed to escape from her Los Angeles Zoo multiple times in 1979 by climbing trees and fences. Also, after being on the loose for more than a month, zookeepers tried to catch her after she had been spotted in nearby Griffith Park but failed and it has been unclear to this day whether she was ever recaptured.
6 / 12
Inky, the octopus
Octopuses are actually pretty impressive escape artists in general, so the escape of Inky the octopus from the National Aquarium of New Zealand was not that surprising. He managed to get through a small gap at the top of the tank, and then move eight feet on the floor to get to the drainpipe that led to the bay. His friend, Blotchy, wasn’t so adventurous, so he stayed behind.
7 / 12
Leona, the penguin
In the time of the incident, this cute little penguin was only a few months old and still hadn’t even been named yet. However, after the miraculous and rather lucky adventure she was through, she got her name – Leona. In 2011, at the Munster Zoo in Germany, this adorable escape artist waddled out of her enclosure and went straight to the lion’s den. Luckily for her, the cats were asleep and she was lured out of the den with some delicious herrings.
8 / 12
Ken, the orangutan
Ken’s obituary in one of San Diego’s newspapers, after he passed away in 2000, mentioned him as a “renowned escape artist”. Which he truly was. This orangutan, who was born at the San Diego Zoo, was a real celebrity. He became popular after his series of escapes during the ‘80s. He was able to always find other ways to get out of his enclosure, but he never truly wanted to leave. He just loved and enjoyed the challenge, like a true escape artist does.
9 / 12
Evelyn and Jim, the gorillas
These two gorillas are the most famous escape artists from the Los Angeles Zoo, and even though they would often escape on their own, in many cases they worked together. This was really the best thing for them, since Evelyn is smarter and thus always the brain of their escape operation, while Jim was always there to provide the necessary muscle.
10 / 12
Bonnie and Clyde, the capybaras
Here is another adventurous couple of escape artists. Bonnie and Clyde are capybaras, the world’s largest rodents, and their escape story from the High Park Zoo in Toronto caught a lot of attention in 2016. They had been on the prowl for multiple weeks before one of them was caught and brought back to the zoo, while the other kept eluding the zoo officials for some time more. Many speculate that this escape operation was actually a love trip, because their story has a happy ending and you can meet their new family in the video below.
11 / 12
Frosty the donkey
Frosty is a true escape artist because he doesn't care about getting away, he just wants to show off his amazing lock picking skills. This donkey lives in Devon, England, in an otherwise completely ordinary animal sanctuary. However, he has learned to turn doorknobs with his mouth, which helps him be the first in line for dinner at all times. That's enough for this escape artist, and really, what more does a man (or a donkey) need?
12 / 12