I heard from Jan Spencley (SD native and jewelry artist extraordinaire), who mostly confirmed my version of the Ken Allen story. The zoo did use “undercover zookeepers” to locate his escape route. And it did temporarily succeed. They thwarted his escapes by installing electric wires. The part I hadn’t known was that a second orang, named Kumang, learned how to ground the wires on the electric fence and use the insulators to get out. She actually managed more escapes than Ken Allen. The rock climbers were brought in for her. These guys (the orangs, not the rock climbers!) really are amazing.
Anyway, here’s another of my favorite shots of the orangutans, also converted to a fictional portrait.