Monarto Zoo is mourning the loss of Boon, one of the recently born Chimpanzee infants, after he passed away early yesterday morning. Zoo staff are extremely saddened by the loss as the infant’s passing marks a heartbreaking end to a unique situation within the Chimpanzee troop.
Boon’s mother passed away earlier in the month shortly after giving birth and he subsequently had been cared for by another member of the troop, a heavily pregnant female named Zombi.
Prior to Zombi herself giving birth, Boon was taken into the care of keepers as he appeared lethargic – a suspected result of Zombi’s pre-birth milk supply not containing the nutrients needed for the newborn.
Zoos SA Senior Veterinarian, Ian Smith, says the exact cause of death is unknown at this time, however initial observations indicate the infant had a partially twisted bowel and was suffering from kidney complications.
“Despite the around the clock care provided by Zombi and then the keeping staff, Boon’s health deteriorated late last week and he passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning,” Dr Smith said.
“This is a sad loss for the troop and for the team at Monarto, especially given the unique circumstances.”
Monarto Zoo Primate Keepers advise that Zombi’s infant remains in good health and they will continue to assist the troop throughout the mourning period.
“As is the case for many primate species, the Chimpanzee troop will mourn the loss of their infant,” Dr Smith said.
“Our main concern now is to ensure that they have the necessary support to help them through this period and to make sure they feel comfortable and secure.”
The community is welcome to leave messages of support for the Chimpanzee troop and staff on the Monarto Zoo Facebook page.