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Chimpanzee dies in fall from tree at the Kansas City Zoo

Bahati, a 31-year-old male chimpanzee at the Kansas City Zoo, died Wednesday from a fall.
Bahati, a 31-year-old male chimpanzee at the Kansas City Zoo, died Wednesday from a fall. The Kansas City Zoo

A 31-year-old male chimpanzee new to the Kansas City Zoo was killed in an accidental fall Wednesday, the zoo announced.

Bahati climbed a tree and grabbed onto a dead branch during a skirmish among the chimpanzees about 9 a.m. He fell to the ground when the branch broke and died from injuries sustained in the fall, according to a zoo statement. A spokeswoman said zookeepers estimate the fall was 30 to 40 feet. At least a few zoo visitors witnessed the fall.

The three-acre chimpanzee exhibit incorporates natural trees, which are monitored by staff and professionally trimmed annually, the zoo said.

Bahati was born at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita and came to Kansas City in February this year from Tampa on the recommendation of the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan, which manages the captive population in North America. Chimpanzees can live 50-60 years in captivity, according to chimpsanctuarynw.org

The Kansas City Zoo’s chimpanzee population is now 12.

Matt Campbell: 816-234-4902, @MattCampbellKC

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