A chimpanzee at a Missouri zoo died Wednesday morning after getting into a violent fight with the other animals, then falling 40 feet to his death.
Bahati, a 31-year-old chimpanzee, was climbing a tree in the exhibit at Kansas City Zoo when he got into a fight with the other chimps, Sean Putney, the senior director of zoological operations, said in a video on the zoo's Facebook page. Putney said the chimps often get into "skirmishes and fights" in the morning.
"But on this occassion, [Bahati] was trying to jump by some of the other ones while he was up in the tree, grabbed a hold of a branch and fell down to the ground," Putney said.
Bahati later died after suffering "severe internal injuries."
Harold Miller, who comes to the zoo often, captured the incident on cellphone video. He told Fox4KC he heard the chimps fighting before he even got close to the exhibit.
"Several of them raced up one of the trees and it looked like they were fighting and squabbling back and forth," Miller told the news station.
Putney applauded the staff's response to the incident and said the zoo will look at what officials can do better to prevent another tragedy from happening.
"But sometimes accidents happen, and they can't be prevented," Putney said.
The zoo caretakers took the chimps and rest of the animals in the exhibit inside after the incident on Wednesday.