Greenville Zoo, FILE(GREENVILLE, S.C.) — Kumar, a 12-year-old Sumatran primate, is safely back in his Greenville Zoo den after breaking out and sitting down on top of the domed enclosure for 20 minutes on Monday.
“People like to call him Houdini,” Jeff Bullock, Greenville Zoo’s administrator, told ABC News.
Kumar, which means prince in Hindi, was born to a one-armed mother named Dodie back in 2005 on Tax Day.
Originally he was named IRS, according to the Brownsville Herald.
Since moving to Greenville, South Carolina, in November 2016, Kumar has escaped three times.
The most recent took place while a contractor was replacing mesh panels, Bullock said.
The orangutan spotted “one piece of wire that wasn’t crimped tight enough and he was able to pull that wide open,” Bullock said.
Turns out, Kumar twice before found breaches in his 50-feet long by 40-feet wide exhibit he shares with Lana, his orangutan lover, Bullock said.
One time, he noted, Kumar “sat there and chewed on the wiring, which is made out of aircraft cable.”
“Once a piece of wire broke and Kumar figured out how to unlace it and [he] made a hole big enough to squeeze through and get out,” he said.
The second time was when Kumar made a romantic gesture to impress the 32-year-old Lana.
“He got out he grabbed an extension cord and he went back inside and gave it to her,” Bullock recalled.
“Anytime he’s out she just sits in the exhibit and watches him,” he said. “She is a much more sedate animal.”
Bullock said Kumar was “acting out like a teenager.”
But he also marveled that he was “a smart fella” who is also “very strong and very patient.”
And the zoo has a secret weapon to bring Kumar back: peanut butter.
“When he squeezed back in yesterday he was getting treats inside by our staff,” said Bullock.
Because of Kumar’s antics, Bullock said the same contractor who updated the mesh panels returned and “double-tied” all the connections of the domed enclosure.
“As far as I’m concerned he’s not going to get out again,” he said, before catching himself in a white lie. “But I’ve said that before.”
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