Image: Escaped orangutan
Los Angeles Zoo
Bruno, 29, escaped from the Los Angeles Zoo by punching a hole through mesh.
msnbc.com news services
updated 5/19/2008 5:08:17 PM ET 2008-05-19T21:08:17

A female orangutan from Florida and a male orangutan from Los Angeles both escaped from their zoo enclosures over the weekend.

Whether they planned to rendezvous in Texas was unclear because the orangutans were returned back safely to their cages before they could leave either zoo's premises.

At Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla., part of a new exhibit is closed after a 10-year-old female orangutan called Luna Bella broke free Saturday by climbing the exhibit's windows. Caretakers had to coax it into a back area using apples, carrots and vanilla ice cream for about an hour.

Meanwhile, 3,000 visitors at the Los Angeles Zoo were forced to head for the exit Saturday when a 29-year-old orangutan named Bruno punched a hole through mesh that surrounds his habitat.

Authorities say he was free for about 20 minutes until a handler saw him in a holding area behind the cage. Keepers quickly approached the orangutan and sedated him.

Bruno never made it into the zoo's public area.

"He was calm and responded well to the staff," Gina Dart, the zoo's promotions coordinator said. "He was never aggressive."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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