Death in LA: incompetence of a zoo
As always the zoo blames those who should not be blamed for this accident. It mentions the aggressiveness of male chimpanzees with babies who are not theirs and so on. In fact, all the blame resides in the zoo and in the so-called "experts in primates" of his institution, who know nothing about them.
First of all, all chimpanzees in zoos, in different degrees, are mentally disturbed because of the public harassment and restrictions of their living conditions. Therefore, as long as they are not mentally normal, it cannot be expected that they act normal; we cannot expect them to react smoothly in any situation.
In a large group, the ideal would be to isolate the mother with the baby for many months or perhaps years, and make the introduction with others individually, not in group.
The zoo probably wanted to show the baby in the group in order to please the human public, since it would be a "major attraction", and endangered the baby's life.
The absurd was the statement from the zoo, apologizing before the public for the exposition to such a shocking scene, showing that they do not care for the primates, that they are mere objects to them, and what matters for the zoo are the human visitors.
This unfortunate accident shows that it is imperative that zoos have to stop to put great apes in their collection of animals, since these beings do not exist in nature to be displayed as trophies and entertainment of humans.
Compare this tragedy with the introduction of Suzi, an one-year old baby chimpanzee, with Jango, an adult chimp who recently lost Junior, his roommate. Jango accepted Suzi immediately and played with her in our presence, as if he knew her for a long time. Something that a zoo would not be able to do ever.
Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
Presidente, GAP Project International
Photo show of the chimpanzees from Sorocaba Great Apes Sanctuary - SP (Brazil):
Zoos do not have space enough to separate mothers with young infants and do not worry in improving the facilities. They always aim to expose the babies, which is completely different in the sanctuaries, where they receive a singular treatment focused on the chimpanzees' welfare.