The federal government fined the Kansas City Zoo more than $4,500 after one of its chimpanzees literally starved to death because of zookeeper failures.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture notified the zoo in May that it had failed to prevent dominant chimps from keeping food away from Nusu. The 13-year-old male died in December. He should have weighed about 150 pounds, but instead weighed 94 pounds.
He had lost 37 percent of his body weight in 20 months, which was the last time he had been weighed.
Zookeepers used treats to lure primates onto a scale, but failed to keep track that Nusu wasn't being weighed. This was because other chimps were literally keeping food from him.
"Your employees were not certain as to how much food this chimpanzee was consuming as they were not monitoring this animal specifically and they knew that other chimpanzees hoarded biscuits from the other chimpanzees," according to the federal letter of reprimand.
The zoo's daily log failed to note anything wrong with Nusu until the staff contacted the veterinarian after he started developing bumps on his arm. Nusu was never separated from the troop despite his weight loss or skin irritations.
Zoo officials admitted Thursday that they failed to provide adequate care but stressed changes have been made as a result of Nusu's death.
Geoff Hall, who was recently hired as second in command at the zoo, said caring for captive animals is both an art and a science. He said changes have been made.
"We have fantastic veterinarians that work at the Kansas City Zoo," he said. "Of course, veterinarians at zoos are working on hundreds of animals of different specifies. It's not like a human physician working on one species and having multiple subjects. We have to learn all the time from the animals."
Hall told the Kansas City Star, KCTV5's reporting partner, that he has great confidence in the zoo's animal management team and their care of the zoo's animals.
"We recognize that we could have done things better back then," Hall told the newspaper. "We have made some very significant strides and improvements. It's an expectation of excellence that constantly grows. We're very pleased with the progress of this institution."
The zoo has brought in a chimpanzee expert from Chicago as well as zoo directors from across the country to review the zoo's operations. Additional staff have been hired and training has been stepped up.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:36 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:36:49 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundFull Story >
Dozens of people have died after a second day of tornadoes twisted through Oklahoma, this time taking aim at the town of Moore, south of Oklahoma City.Full Story >
Monday, May 20 2013 9:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:15:38 GMT
A massive tornado touched down to the southwest of Oklahoma City Monday afternoon. Starting out as a classic funnel it quickly became a giant half-mile wide wedge tornado as it proceeded east north eastFull Story >
A massive tornado touched down to the southwest of Oklahoma City Monday afternoon.Full Story >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:44 AM EDT2013-05-21 13:44:48 GMT
Eastbound 275 is closed this morning at the Kellogg due to a roll-over accident with an entrapment. The one car accident happened just after 3A-M. The car landed in the median. One person was takenFull Story >
Officers say speed and alcohol are suspected to be factors in the crash. Jones was wearing his seatbelt. Full Story >
Monday, May 20 2013 5:35 PM EDT2013-05-20 21:35:49 GMT
(RNN) - On May 3, 1999, an F5 tornado touched down near Chickasha, OK and cut northeast through the state before dissipating near Midwest City, OK.Monday's tornado that devastated Moore, OK closely followedFull Story >
In 1999, Oklahoma City saw an F5 tornado that caused more than $1 billion in damage. Full Story >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:22 AM EDT2013-05-21 10:22:59 GMT
Cincinnati Firefighters are responding to a fire in the 1800 of Jackson Street in Lincoln Heights. Witnesses reported seeing flames on the back side of the building. The location was known as "The SugarFull Story >
Crews from Woodlawn, Evendale and Wyoming are on the scene. The fire is out but the building is still smoking. Full Story >
A 23-year-old father is charged after allowing his 9-year-old daughter to drive. Police were called to the parking lot of Headland's State Park in Painesville Township on Sunday around 10:15 p.m. afterFull Story >
A Lake County, Ohio father is charged after allowing his 9-year-old daughter to drive.Full Story >
Monday, May 20 2013 10:39 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:39:58 GMT
Police are looking for the suspects who robbed the Fresh Market in Oakley. It happened just before 10 p.m. Monday night at the location on Madison Road. Initial reports are that two men with guns enteredFull Story >
Police are looking for the suspects who robbed the Fresh Market in Oakley.Full Story >
Monday, May 20 2013 10:00 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:00:13 GMT
Bonnie Esrig worked for the IRS for 38 years, many of which were spent in the Cincinnati field office. She retired in January 2013 as an Area Manager in Exempt Organizations Determinations. Esrig saysFull Story >
Bonnie Esrig worked for the IRS for 38 years, many of which were spent in the Cincinnati field office.Full Story >
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