LONDON -- The first baby gorilla to be born at London Zoo in 22 years has died in a fight between his mother and a male silverback that keepers were attempting to introduce to the family, British newspaper The Independent reported Saturday.
The male infant suffered a broken arm during Thursday's scuffle and was taken to the zoo's hospital for an operation, however he was unable to breathe by himself and was thought to have suffered internal injuries.
The body of the seven-month-old infant was given back to his mother, named Mjukuu, to allow her time to come to terms with his death, the zoo said in a statement. A post-mortem would be carried out later, officials said.
The male at the center of the fight was an 11-year-old named Kesho, who arrived from Dublin Zoo last year, and was being introduced to the female gorillas to replace the group's dominant male, who died suddenly last year.
Zoological director David Field said, "We knew this was going to be an extremely difficult situation for the gorillas and their keepers and we've always been open about the challenges we would face introducing a new male in such difficult circumstances."
The death of the baby, known as "Tiny," was the third tragedy to hit the gorilla enclosure in as many years, the Camden New Journal reported, following the death both of his father last year, and that of the group's original alpha male in 2009.