Chimpanzee Escapes Japanese Zoo and Runs for His Life

Posted on by Nirali Shah

A dramatic two-hour chase through the streets of Sendai, Japan, ended in a heartbreaking scene as a chimpanzee plummeted from power lines after being shot with a tranquilizer gun.

ChaCha, a male chimpanzee, managed to escape his enclosure at the Yagiyama Zoological Park, at which point he took to the streets in a desperate attempt at freedom. Zoo officials shot ChaCha with a tranquilizer dart as he clambered across power lines to evade capture. In the heartbreaking video above, you can watch him clutch onto the power lines suspended high above the pavement as he slowly loses consciousness–and then tumbles to the ground below, where people are waiting with a blanket to try to catch his body.

It’s important to remember that even at the “best” zoos, captivity cannot begin to replicate wild animals’ habitats.

Captive animals are often prevented from doing the things that are natural and important to them, including running, roaming, flying, climbing, foraging, choosing a mate, and being with others of their own kind.

Zoos teach people that it is acceptable to interfere with animals and keep them imprisoned, bored, cramped, lonely, deprived of all control over their lives, and far from their natural homes.

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Don’t let ChaCha’s attempted escape be in vain—use your voice to speak up for wild animals in captivity all over the world. Caring people like you can make a world of difference for animals like ChaCha when you spend your money wisely and compassionately. Never support zoos, circuses, or any other institution that makes money by exploiting or hurting animals.