Three chimpanzees have been shot dead and four remain on the loose after mysteriously escaping from their enclosure in Sweden's Furuvik zoo.
The animals sprung themselves from their enclosure at midday on Wednesday (Dec. 14) to be met with gunfire from staff, who zoo officials claimed would have been put at considerable risk had they attempted to tranquilize the apes. One chimp was wounded by the bullets and returned to its enclosure by itself, but has so far been unable to receive medical attention, meaning that it could have died.
Furuvik zoo, situated around 104 miles (168 kilometers) north of Stockholm, had been closed for the end of the season when the chimps escaped by unknown means. The group, consisting of seven animals, are popular in Sweden and their deaths have sparked public outrage. Furuvik zoo has responded by insisting that the killings were necessary.