According to a city spokesperson, a chimp scaled the wall of the exhibit around noon before jumping off into the chimp holding area.
The spokesperson says the chimp never made it into a public space, but some zoo patrons were cleared from the area.
"We were about a quarter of the way through and we were told there was a code red. We were told to leave. They made sure everyone was evacuated to the front, and they had told us a chimp had gotten out of its enclosed area," zoo visitor Jenna Kobiela said.
It took zoo staff 10 minutes to get the animal back into his pen.
The spokesperson says all chimps will be kept in their holding pens until zoo staff can complete assessment of the exhibit's wall.
This isn't the first time the Honolulu Zoo has dealt with animals on the loose.
Almost two years ago, a 15-year-old male chimpanzee named Pu'iwa jumped off a barrel to escape from his cage.
A worker shot the chimp with a tranquilizer gun after Pu'iwa was later found sitting on top of the high wall outside the enclosure.
In the summer of 2012, Elvis the ape was able to leap over a moat from a wooden feeding platform to grab on to the outside wall and climb out.
Zookeepers didn't think he was capable of making the 12-foot leap.
In a successful effort to get Elvis back in to his cage, zookeepers used CO2 cannisters to guide him back.
And in 2008, a Sumatran male tiger named Berani bolted from his enclosure after zoo officials believe an employee accidentally left the gate to the tiger exhibit open.
In all of the cases, no humans or animals were seriously injured.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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