Baby Chimpanzee Brutally Killed by Adult Chimp in Front of Stunned Zoo Visitors (VIDEO)
There's heartbreaking news out of the Los Angeles Zoo this morning -- The Huffington Post reports that an adult male chimpanzee killed a baby chimpanzee as visitors and employees looked on helplessly. Apparently, the 3-month-old infant had been recently introduced to the troop, the largest in North America, and experts say that in the wild and in captivity, male chimps have killed the offspring of rivals, though it's unclear if that's what happened yesterday at the zoo.
Zookeepers couldn't intervene because it was too dangerous for humans to enter the fray and say that the death is especially grievous because it was the first chimpanzee birth the zoo's had in 13 years.
This isn't the only time zoo-goers have been surprised and possibly horrified by what they saw. A falconry presentation at a British zoo went horribly, horribly wrong when an owl was eaten by a lion. Then there's that video that everyone saw of a lion trying to eat a child who was inadvertently dressed like a baby zebra. And the cobra escaping the Bronx Zoo.
And these incidents -- chimp killing chimp, lion eating owl, lion trying to eat baby, snakes slithering to freedom -- aren't accidents. In some regard, they're almost inevitabilities. Animals have instincts and will act on them no matter if they're in the Serengeti or San Diego. Zookeepers of course do their best to prevent deadly attacks, but as Jurassic Park taught all of us, life will find a way.
Chimps will want to protect their territory and lions will get hungry and snakes will crawl through holes. It's amazing, if you think about it, that stuff like this doesn't happen more often. I guess the zoos do a great job of anticipating and counteracting natural animistic inclination, but you have to wonder, is that something that should be applauded, or outlawed?
What's your take?
Photo via Martin Pettitt/Flickr
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