London Zoo blunder kills baby gorilla

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2011:
LONDON–Tiny, a seven-month-old western gorilla, the first
gorilla born at the London Zoo since 1988, suffered a broken arm and
died of apparent internal injuries on May 12, 2011 in an attack by
the recently acquired silverback male Kesho. Tiny and his mother
Mjukuu had just been introduced to Kesho for the second time.
“Kesho’s arrival was recommended by experts to create a
cohesive social group, after the death of the zoo’s previous male
gorilla,” reported BBC News. “In the wild male gorillas often
attack the offspring of their rivals, so staff were cautious about
introducing Kesho to the baby, who was the offspring of the former
male. Kesho had been introduced to the two other female gorillas at
the zoo, but keepers waited many months for an introduction to the
youngster and his mother.”

“Any undergraduate student of zoology could have told you
what to expect!” responded evolutionary anthropologist Volker
Sommer, a great ape specialist. “How can it be that the London Zoo
ignored findings that have accumulated over the last 40 years?”
Sommer asked in an open letter to the zoo. “As a logical
conclusion, ” he said, “London Zoo should not keep apes any more.”

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