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An animal escape has prompted the partial evacuation of Perth Zoo as keepers scrambled to return a cheeky ape to its enclosure.

It’s understood a silvery gibbon, also known as a Javan gibbon, managed to swing out of its habitat on Tuesday, prompting a speedy response from zoo staff.

The ape managed to find itself enjoying a brief taste of freedom for about half an hour, before he was captured.

“One of Perth Zoo’s Javan Gibbons was over-exuberant while swinging and found himself in a tree outside of his habitat,” a Perth Zoo spokesperson said in a statement.

“The zoo’s expert primate and veterinary teams acted quickly and have safely sedated him and will now move him to a safe area behind-the-scenes for monitoring.

“At no stage were any visitors in danger, but as a precaution, the public was escorted out of the area.

“Our animal carers are now closely monitoring him and the rest of the Javan Gibbons, and they appear settled and well.”

Local satirical publication The Bell Tower Times shared some photos of the incident on its social media pages, showing concerned zookeepers and members of the public trying to spot the errant animal during its daring escapade.

Perth Zoo is no stranger to animal antics. In 2017 two orang-utans managed to escape their enclosure.

A child orang-utan fell onto a boardwalk surrounding its enclosure, and its mother followed suit to collect its child, with both getting about 22 minutes of freedom before they were coaxed back into their habitat.

The silvery gibbon is a primate in the gibbon family Hylobatidae, originating on the Indonesian island of Java.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the silvery gibbon as endangered, with a 2008 estimate predicting there are fewer than 2500 mature individuals in the wild.

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By Rahul

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