A "Code Red" was immediately put into place forcing staff and visitors of the zoo to seek shelter.
Officials said one of the chimps was able to break a roughly six-foot long tree limb that was then used as a ladder to climb on top of the outdoor enclosure wall. That chimp then enticed six other chimps to follow his act.
Zoo staff acted quickly by creating a perimeter around the chimps using enclosed vehicles. Eventually the chimps were lured back with food and treats.
The visitors in the Africa section of the zoo were held in various buildings to ensure their safety.
The chimp exhibit will be closed Friday to allow staff to examine the entire exhibit and prevent a similar situation from occurring.
Kansas City Zoo director Randy Wisthoff said at least one employee will face disciplinary procedures, but also said that no one was in danger during the incident.