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Mating Season May Have Contributed to Baboon's Escape

Animal still in quarantine

A female adolescent baboon that from Six Flags Great Adventure is still being held in quarantine as her caretakers ensure she is healthy enough to return to the safari. 

The first part of that process is a 30 day period completely separate from the rest of the population that is roughly halfway through. Kristin Siebeneicher, a spokesperson for the park, said once the quarantine is over the baboon will slowly be introduced back into the exhibit. That will start with just a few baboons and then a larger group before returning to her normal life.

Siebeneicher said the investigation into the escape indicates that the baboon was "coming into heat for the first time and a male baboon became aggressive toward her." Trying to get away from the male, it is believed the female was able to get through the electrified fence and made it onto the part of the exhibit where vistiors drive through. 

Having gotten past the security meant to keep her contained, it is believed that the baboon was then able to make a clean exit from the park. Since the escape, steps have been taken to ensure there are no further incidents. That includes adding more electrified fencing, particularly where it is believed the animal got through. 

Other security additions include adding sheet metal on top of the fencing, adding a security camera to monitor the exhibit and doing daily counts of the baboons and two checks of the fencing keeping the animals in, Siebeneicher said. 

The park has otherwise been operating normally since the escape and Siebeneicher pointed out earlier that this is only the second time an animal has escaped from the park. The last time was 10 years ago when an African antelope was able to break through a hole that had been cut in the fence. That animal was also safely returned to the safari, which has been open since 1974.

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