One chimpanzee, named Eve, has been shot dead, and the hunt is underway for her mate Adam, after the pair escaped their enclosure at a Spanish Zoo this week.
Police have been authorized to kill the other escapee still at large, threatening to worsen an already tragic situation for a couple whose only desire was to be free.
The incident began on Monday when Adam and Eve, held captive at Sa Coma safari park on the resort island of Mallorca, reportedly broke the bars of their cage and slipped out of the facility. Local officials launched a search for the animals, encountering Eve a few hours later.
She was killed on sight.
"[Eve] was very agitated and there was a risk that she might attack a member of the search party," a spokesperson for the Civil Guard told Agence France-Presse. "It wasn't possible to use tranquilizer darts because on animals that big it takes about five minutes to have an effect."
As of Tuesday evening, Adam is still on the run. Authorities believe he may be headed for a wooded, mountainous part of the island where it will be more difficult to find him, reports Diario de Mallorca.