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Baby chimpanzee killed by adult chimp at L.A. Zoo as visitors watch

June 26, 2012 |  7:26 pm

Gracie and her babyA baby chimpanzee at the Los Angeles Zoo was killed Tuesday afternoon by an adult male chimpanzee as visitors watched the attack.

The chimpanzee, which was born in March, was killed in a habitat with other chimps, the zoo said in a statement. The baby chimpanzee had been gradually introduced to the chimps in the habitat, but there were no indications of problems, according to zoo officials.

"Chimpanzee behavior can sometimes be aggressive and violent, and the zoo is sorry that visitors had to be exposed to  this," the statement said. "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 mother is named Gracie, and she was being allowed to keep the baby overnight so that she could have time to grieve, the zoo said.


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-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: Gracie and her baby. Credit: Los Angeles Zoo