'Escaped monkey' at Blackpool Zoo was cuddly toy

Staff taking part in the safety drill
Staff taking part in the safety drill
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Rumours of an escaped wild animal at Blackpool Zoo were greatly exaggerated.

Staff responded to reports of an 'escaped monkey' at the zoo yesterday as part of an organised animal escape drill.

A zoo spokesman said: "If you were in the zoo yesterday, you might have heard reports that we had an escaped animal. We can now confirm that the rumours are true and we did deal with a situation regarding an escaped monkey.

"Luckily in this case, the monkey was of the soft toy variety and the situation had been orchestrated by our health and safety manager. In the same way schools and businesses run regular fire drills, we run regular animal escape drills to test our response in the unlikely event one of our animals does escape its enclosure.

"We’re delighted to report that the escapee was returned to it’s “enclosure” swiftly and safely. We can also confirm that no staff, visitors or animals were harmed in the process (although the soft toy is a little grubby now)."