Chimpanzee dies in zoo after bullying

Aalborg Zoo suffered its second tragedy in a month after disinterested mother lets her baby be bullied by older apes

A baby chimpanzee has been put down at the Aalborg Zoo after some rough treatment by two younger male chimps in the group. The two-month-old chimp was so weak after a period of mistreatment that the zoo decided it had no other choice but to put it down.

“In the last few days we have saw that the baby chimp had been treated very roughly by two of the younger males in the group, without the mother stepping in,” Aalborg Zoo wrote on its Facebook page. “Last night we sedated the baby and established that it was so weakened and injured that it would not survive.”

The zoo pointed out that the keepers were aware the little ape's mother, Laura, had not displayed interest in defending her offspring, which is usually the case when members of the group threaten a newborn.

“We have followed the situation and suddenly the actions became more violent than we had seen previously, so we stepped in."

The zoo explained that since the mother showed no interest in the baby, its only other option to putting it down was to remove it from the group and bottle feed it. “If we'd done that we'd have wound up with a chimp that was influenced by humans and that could never be re-introduced to the group again, which is not something we want.”

Aalborg Zoo went on to say that males can be rough with younger members, but that the young are quite robust.

The chimp baby was 19-year-old Laura’s fourth baby, the first two of which were stillborn, possibly due to stress in the group, the zoo said.

Chimps usually stay close to their mothers during the first few months of their lives, but start moving about on their own when they are around six months old, though usually with their mothers nearby.

It is the second tragic occurrence to take place at Aalborg Zoo in a month  after Augo the polar bear had to be put down after breaking his front legs following a five-metre fall into a deep security pit that surrounded his enclosure.