Monkey business alert: Chiang Mai Zoo stages emergency drill as gibbons plot daring escape

Photo via Facebook/ เชียงใหม่ CM108 ข่าวเชียงใหม่ จังหวัดเชียงใหม่

Chiang Mai Zoo set in place an emergency drill for the staff members in preparation just in case any of the zoo’s gibbons tried to escape. To enhance the realism of the exercise, two zookeepers wore gibbon costumes and assumed the roles of the stubborn animals.

Chiang Mai Zoo’s official Facebook page of shared a video of the emergency drill yesterday, June 21. Two members of the zoo staff were seen in the video wearing light brown and dark brown gibbon costumes representing female and male gibbons.

They attempted to run away from the cage, but one staff member noticed the escape and reported it to the relevant department. The two fake gibbons sought refuge in a bush and tried to avoid the staff armed with animal capture nets.

One of the pretend gibbons climbed a tree to escape but an officer took out a dart gun and pretended to shoot it while four other officers prepared a net to catch the monkey as it fell from the tree. A cherry picker was deployed and carefully lifted the gibbon before transporting it to a waiting vehicle.

The zookeepers revealed that the two gibbons would be taken to a cage near the zoo office. Once fully recovered from the anaesthetic, they would be returned to their designated enclosure.

Many Thai netizens flooded the comment section with messages of appreciation while others looked forward to seeing the future drills and guessed what animals will be picked. Netizens commented…

“What teamwork! I am happy that the gibbons are safe!”

“Perfect! It is so realistic!”

“You are all dedicated. I love it! So cute!”

“The gibbon looks quite hefty. It took six officers to carry it!”

In August of last year, Chiang Mai Zoo conducted an emergency drill for an ostrich escape, and one zookeeper dressed as the big bird to ensure a realistic situation.

According to The Standard in January, Chaing Mai Zoo had achieved the highest revenue among zoos in the country. The zoo earned about 250,000 baht per day and took over 12 million baht in revenue for the previous year. This year, the zoo has a target of reaching 70 million baht.

The zoo recently lost its beloved star attraction, a giant panda named Lin Hui, who passed away at 21 years of age in April of this year. The death of the panda sparked a controversy on social media as some zoo visitors noticed the panda was bleeding in the cage.

The average lifespan of a panda raised and cared for in a zoo is around 20 years old. So, Lin Hui was considered an old panda. The zoo said there were also no signs of a health problem before the panda died. Some suggested that the reason for the death was PM 2.5, but the thorough autopsy on the animal has not yet been revealed.

Chiang Mai NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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