An infant chimpanzee at the Kansas City Zoo named in honor of the Royals baseball team died Wednesday, the zoo announced Friday.
The chimp was born Oct. 16 during the Royals’ wave of victory that took them to the World Series. He was named Royal George by donors to the zoo who wished to remain anonymous.
The zoo said an initial necropsy was inconclusive, and further tests to determine the cause of death will take several weeks.
The chimp was discovered lifeless when zookeepers arrived Wednesday.
“It was a huge shock to all of the staff,” said zoo veterinarian Kirk Suedmeyer.
The chimp was born to a first-time mother. The veterinary staff had monitored the pregnancy with ultrasound and other measurements. The zoo reported the infant was well-tended by his mother and extended family.
The chimp’s grandmother took the infant away from his mother a couple of days before the infant’s death. Zoo staff had to intervene to return him to his mother. But Suedmeyer said he had no reason to believe that incident was related to Royal George’s death.
The zoo’s 12 chimpanzees are not on public display when the temperature is below 65 degrees.