TAMPA, Fla. (WSVN) — A chimpanzee at a central Florida zoo has apparently died after other chimpanzees in her enclosure attacked her.
The young female named Keeva was found Wednesday morning by staff at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, Fox 13 reports.
“Chimpanzees have an incredibly complex and dynamic social hierarchy,” said Dr. Larry Killmar Ph.D., the zoo’s Senior Vice President and Chief Zoological Officer. “Keeva was spending the night with two adult chimpanzees, Twiggy and Nick, who have been showing normal interactions with her up to this point. We closely and carefully monitor their behavior, and it is perplexing that this happened.”
Judy McAuliffe, the program leader of the zoo’s Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan Program, told Fox 13 that chimps can at times become violent and physical.
“They occasionally fight and injure each other, sometimes resulting in the death of members of their own groups,” McAuliffe said.
Keeva came to the zoo back in 2015 after her mother rejected her at birth. The zoo said one of their adult chimps named Abby fostered Keeva after her arrival.
Lowry Park Zoo said it will evaluate how to manage their chimpanzees following Keeva’s death.
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