A fun day at the zoo turned into a traumatizing disaster for observers at the chimpanzee exhibit in Los Angeles yesterday. Back in March, a chimp named Gracie gave birth, and over the past few months, the baby has been slowly introduced to the rest of its kind. When no conflicts arose, officials began letting the chimp stay for longer periods, but in retrospect, that now seems like a mistake.
Yesterday afternoon, the baby was approached by an older male chimpanzee and savagely killed in full view of the shocked spectators. The attack was quick and brutal, and by the time workers realized what was happening, nothing could be done to save the chimp’s life.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the little one was left overnight with its mother so should would have time to grieve. The zoo later issued a statement apologizing for visitors having to witness the “aggressive” and “violent” assault.
"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 might not be filled with as much death as the wild, but animals still have the ability to be reckless and cruel. I’m sure the incident was traumatic for all the kids who watched it, but good parents no doubt also used it as a teaching moment.
Pop Blend’s thoughts go out to Gracie, as well as everyone else who watched what happened.