An orangutan has escaped its enclosure at the Melbourne Zoo, causing public to flee and part of the zoo to be closed down.

Channel 7 reported it was the 16-year-old male Sumatran orangutan, Malu, who got out, and it was not the first time he had done so.

Malu escaped in 2015 by using a blanket to sneak his way out his cage.

Malu escaped just after 3pm in Melbourne, and an hour later the situation was still unresolved.

A witness said “rangers were running around ushering people into the gift shop”.