Alpha chimpanzee is drowned in front of horrified German zoo guests

Uprising of the apes: Alpha chimpanzee is drowned in front of horrified German zoo guests after his son takes over the troop and uses them to attack his father

  • Robert, 47, was the former leader of the chimpanzees before son took over 
  • There was aggressive altercation in the enclosure which led to Robert’s death
  • Zoo boss Jörg Junhold said troop members pushed Robert to edge of ditch 
  • He went over the safety boundary into the water afterwards and drowned  

An Alpha chimpanzee was drowned in front of horrified German zoo guests after his son took over the troop and used them to attack his father.

Robert, 47, was the former leader of the chimpanzees at Pongoland in Leipzig Zoo who asserted himself against the younger apes. 

But by the time he got a bit older, his son Frodo, 29, had taken over as leader.

Sadly, according to Bild, there was an aggressive altercation in the enclosure between Robert and the other chimpanzees which led to his death.

Zoo boss Dr Jörg Junhold today said that group members had pushed Robert to the edge of a ditch in the outdoor enclosure.   

Shocked staff and visitors then watched Robert going over the safety boundary into the water.

He drowned immediately, as chimpanzees cannot swim. And soon after, his body was pulled out of the water by staff.

Robert, 47, was the former leader of the chimpanzees at Pongoland in Leipzig Zoo who asserted himself against the younger apes. He was pushed to the edge of a ditch in the outdoor enclosure and then crossed the safety boundary and drowned. Pictured: Pongoland

Dr Junhold said: ‘We are deeply shocked by this event and have initially needed the last few days to process what happened. 

‘The pathological findings now available have confirmed that Robert drowned and that there were no other or internal injuries.’

A spokeswoman for the zoo Melanie Ginzel added: ‘Disputes in chimpanzee groups are part of the zoo as well as in the wild. 

‘Here in Leipzig, however, nothing like this has ever happened with this intensity. You don’t get involved in the group. The animals decide the ranking among themselves.’

The zoo have said that the death of Robert has left them shocked. Pictured: Chimpanzees in Pongoland 

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