A troop of 25 monkeys broke out of a south-western German zoo and spent the day lolling in the sun near a forest before being recaptured, authorities said.
The Barbary macaques, commonly known as Barbary apes, escaped from the zoo in Loeffingen, southwest of Stuttgart and not far from the Swiss border. It was not entirely clear how they got away, but construction work at the zoo might have been a factor, police said.
The primates were spotted roaming the area in a pack, but zoo employees were unable to recapture them and eventually lost track of them. A few hours later they were spotted, recaptured and returned to their cages without incident, police said.
“The animals apparently took advantage of the nice weather and spent the afternoon on the edge of a forest near the zoo,” police said.
Native to North Africa, the ginger-furred toddler-size macaques are typically harmless, timid and fearful of humans, according to the Barbary Macaque Awareness & Conservation NGO.
Police in the south-western state of Baden-Württemberg had warned passers by not to try to feed or catch the macaques, as that could intimidate them or prompt them to lash out.