A chimpanzee named Mogli has been found dead at Sydney Zoo after fears he escaped from his enclosure sparked panic.
Visitors who called in to radio stations claimed they were locked in buildings and told to stay in their cars on Friday morning amid reports an animal escaped the zoo in Blacktown, Sydney’s west.
Sydney Zoo said the reports of an animal on the run were incorrect and revealed a chimpanzee had actually died.
A chimpanzee named Mogli was found dead in his habitat at Sydney Zoo on Friday
Visitors were told to stay in their cars on Friday morning amid reports an animal escaped the zoo in Blacktown, Sydney’s west. Pictured: Crowds in the car park
‘Sydney Zoo is sad to announce the death of Mogli a beloved member of our chimpanzee troop,’ the zoo said.
‘Mogli was found in the chimpanzee habitat this morning by our team.’
Sydney Zoo said it was investigating the circumstances of Mogli’s death.
‘Once more information is known we will make a further statement,’ the zoo said. ‘We would like to confirm that media reports of an escaped animal are false.
‘The team are in a state of deep shock and grief.’
Mogli was remembered by hundreds of Facebook users who offered their condolences to the zoo.
‘I am so sorry for your loss. Sending my love to the troop, keepers, staff, and volunteers. Go easy on yourselves,’ one person commented.
‘How terribly sad. We were there yesterday and my kids had such great time. Our thoughts are with the keepers and the staff,’ another wrote.
A third person commented from outside the zoo: ‘So sorry to hear this. We’re still happily waiting in the very long queue to come in – many new friendships have been made in cars around us while we all sit and wait!’
A birds eye shot of Sydney Zoo in the western suburbs on Friday morning
Pictures from the enclosure showed a man in a scuba suit and snorkels in water as he was assisted by zookeepers.
Another shot from the scene showed four men carrying a green bag.
In the car park, hundreds of animal lovers were huddled together in a line as they waited.
One woman asked Sydney Zoo for information before they announced Mogli’s death.
‘There’s a lot of us that have been out here in your parking lot with frustrated toddlers since before 9am with no updates or info on what’s going on,’ she wrote on Facebook.
Sydney Zoo was founded in 2015 and is home to more than 1,000 animal species.
Sydney Zoo said the reports were incorrect and revealed a chimpanzee had actually died (stock)