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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Escaping chimps at a Belfast Zoo surrender after police open fire

September 7, 2005, www.theage.com.au

Chimps at Belfast Zoo surrendered quickly tonight when armed police opened fire after they made a bid for freedom.

Police were called in when several of the chimpanzees got out of their compound at the zoo on the city's northern outskirts.

The chimps put their hands up after only a brief period on the run when confronted by the overwhelming firepower.

Reports initially swept Belfast that police had shot the chimps dead but a spokesman said: "We didn't kill them, we fired in the air."

An official statement from the Police Service said officers went to the zoo after a report of a number of primates escaping from their compound.

"Following consultations with zoo staff and a vet a number of warning shots were fired and the animals returned to their enclosure," it said.

The shooting incident was formally reported to the Police Ombudsman - as they are required to every time an officer open fire with live ammunition.

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