All the primates have been returned to their pens with the exception of “an elderly female, a young female and a baby”, said Sophie Ferreira-Le Morvan, the deputy head of the National Museum of Natural History.
They remain in the area of the “grand rocher”, a landmark central mountain inaccessible to the public at the Paris zoological park in the Vincennes area of the French capital.
The three baboons are “under surveillance”, Ferreira-Le Morvan said, and the zoo will not reopen until they are captured.
The breakout was first noticed by a zoo worker, who saw the primates gathering in a service corridor used by personnel late Friday morning.
Safety procedures were “immediately” triggered, the zoo said in a statement, with a total of 60 firefighters, 20 police and all of the zoo’s staff mobilised to capture the animals.
None of the baboons reached public areas and the evacuation was ordered as a precaution, the zoo said.