A chimp that was sent to Kenya to learn how to be an ape after living its whole life with humans has been killed by fellow chimpanzees.
The incident took place at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in the Kenyan county of Laikipia after the four-year-old female chimpanzee called Baran was sent there from the Eram Park Zoo in the Iranian capital Tehran in the summer because it was deemed that growing up isolated from other chimpanzees was bad for her health.
The sanctuary in Kenya places all arriving animals in quarantine for 90 days, and after completing that phase, Baran was in the early stages of living with other chimpanzees, which involved being able to see the other chimpanzees remotely but with no physical contact.
But Baran reportedly managed to break the lock keeping the cage to the isolation area closed before entering the area where the other chimpanzees lived.
The other chimpanzees all reportedly attacked Baran, leaving her seriously beaten.
Zookeepers managed to put an end to the violence. However, despite successfully rescuing Baran, the chimpanzee succumbed to her injuries.
Baran was raised by humans after her mother rejected her. The young chimpanzee was prematurely born, and her mother was unable to take care of her because of her sensitive condition.
As a result, vets took her from her mother and slowly nursed her to strength to the point where they felt she could be returned to her parent. But by then, the mother no longer accepted the baby, and because she rejected her, the rest of the troop did as well.
It meant she had to be raised away from them in isolation, fed by hand by zoo vet Eman Memarian.
However, Memarian was concerned for the female chimp’s wellbeing because she no longer had anyone to associate with, and as a result, the zoo decided to transfer her to another animal park to help her physical and emotional development.
With the possibility of introducing her back into her own troop no longer an option, they decided to link up with specialists with extensive experience in reintroducing chimps into family groups, and so they contacted the Kenyan chimp sanctuary, founded in 1993.
A spokesperson for Eram Zoo said: “Chimpanzees are social creatures who must live in their social groups to acquire the necessary skills for a healthy and natural social life.”
Parviz Ghandali, zoo director, said at the time: “Although Eram Zoo was able to save Baran, it was decided that she needs to be transferred to the international chimpanzee care centre in Kenya because she can live better with necessary facilities and environment.”
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