Edinburgh Zoo chimpanzee dies after sustaining serious injuries in troop fight during mating season

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An Edinburgh Zoo chimpanzee has died after being seriously injured in a troop fight during mating season.

Rene, a 31-year-old chimpanzee died last week after a fight broke out within the enclosure. A second chimpanzee, Qafzeh, was also injured but is said to be ‘doing well’ following an operation.

Zoo staff tried to intervene but Rene subsequently died from his injuries. They said ‘this type of behaviour occurs in the wild, especially around breeding time.’

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Rene, a 31-year-old chimpanzee at Edinburgh Zoo was killed in a troop fightRene, a 31-year-old chimpanzee at Edinburgh Zoo was killed in a troop fight
Rene, a 31-year-old chimpanzee at Edinburgh Zoo was killed in a troop fight | RZSS

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Zoo said: “We’re sad to share the news that Rene, one of our chimpanzees, sadly passed away last week after an altercation within the troop. “Chimp group dynamics are incredibly complex and Rene, who was 31-years-old, was part of a fight which broke out within the troop. This type of behaviour occurs in the wild, especially around breeding time when females are in season and when males are challenging for dominance of the group. 

“Our expert keepers did everything they could to separate the fight and keep the rest of the troop safe, but sadly Rene’s injuries were severe. Qafzeh also sustained injuries and after a surgical operation is doing well and is gradually being reintroduced to the group.” They added: “Rene was a huge personality and will be missed by those who cared for him.”

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