Great Britain

Sydney baboon escape: police called to Royal Prince Alfred hospital over reports of animals on loose

Police have confirmed they are on the scene at a major Sydney hospital after at least one baboon was sighted on the grounds.

Police told Guardian Australia on Tuesday evening that they were attending “an incident of that nature” but could not confirm how many baboons were involved.

The animal or animals appear to have escaped from a facility on the site, which is adjacent to the University of Sydney.

Callers to Sydney talkback radio station 2GB were first to report that they’d seen apes running loose in the area.

A caller told presenter Ben Fordham that he’d seen three baboons.

“Mate I’m deadset serious, I’m at RPA, I’m six floors up and I was just having a gaze out at the carpark… and there were three baboons in the carpark,” he said. “I’m deadset serious. They even had shiny red bottoms.”

Another caller said her daughter and her colleagues had been chasing the animals.

“My daughter is an occupational therapist at RPA and she said ‘yes mum, I’ve just helped wrangle them’,” the caller said.

The baboons of unknown number join a long tradition of animals breaking loose from captivity and embracing the freedom of the big city.

They include two water buffalo, which escaped from a movie set in Newtown, Sydney, and chased pedestrians down King Street; two llamas chased by police through the streets of Sun City, Arizona in 2015; and three lions that escaped from a circus on Mindil beach, Darwin, and caused all kinds of havoc before they were caught – including gatecrashing a wedding in the botanical gardens.