Visitors at the Los Angeles Zoo were shocked when they witnessed a baby chimpanzee being killed by an adult male chimp right in the middle of the chimpanzee habitat on Tuesday afternoon. The unnamed baby chimpanzee was just three-months-old.
According to the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the baby chimpanzee was killed in front of visitors at the zoo after being fatally injured by a male chimp. The zoo said the baby chimpanzee was introduced on several occasions to the troop of other chimps, and there was never an indication of aggressive behavior towards the baby. However, the zoo noted, chimpanzees can be hostile, even unexpectedly.
Chimpanzee behavior can sometimes be aggressive and violent, and the zoo is sorry that visitors had to be exposed to this, a statement from the zoo read. This is a heartbreaking and tragic loss for the zoo and especially the Great Ape Team who have worked diligently to care for the infant and its mother since its birth.
The zoo staff was unable to help the baby chimp during the attack, as zoo policy does not allow staff to enter the spaces in which chimpanzees are kept, as they can be strong and dangerous. Still, some members of the staff are upset about the baby being killed.
I'm kind of shocked, and I'm very sad. My heart really goes out to our staff. It's been a very sad day, Jennie Becker, the curator of mammals at the L.A. Zoo, told KABC-TV.
According to the zoo, the mother named Gracie will be allowed to keep the dead baby overnight as an opportunity to grieve.