The Orangutan Who Turned Out To Be An Accomplished Escape Artist

Some zoo animals have demonstrated quite the knack for being escape artists, but none are more legendary that an orangutan named Fu Manchu. During his stay at the Omaha Zoo in the mid-1960s, Fu Manchu’s keepers would frequently find him outside of his enclosure when they arrived for work. Even after many attempts at double-checking and securing the locks, Fu Manchu and his family were still found in the trees outside of the exhibit area. Only after surveillance cameras were installed did zookeepers realize the cunning intelligence of Fu Manchu. As it turned out, he had stolen a wire from a doorframe, which he then hid underneath his chin. At night, the wire would come out and Fu Manchu would systematically slip the wire into the lock, much the way a thief might slip a credit card between a door and its frame. Fu Manchu’s antics earned him an honorary membership in the American Association of Locksmiths, making him quite possibly the only animal to have this distinction.