This Huge Chimp Brawl At the LA Zoo Looks Like Utter Mayhem

Written by Kirstin Opal
Published: September 28, 2022
© iStock.com/USO
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The Los Angeles Zoo provides numerous chances each day for meaningful exploration, learning, and inspiration. Upwards of 1,100 animals, notably, 29 endangered species, call the 133-acre L.A. Zoo home. You can get up close and personal with magnificent Sumatran tigers, fearsome Komodo dragons, and colorful orangutans.

A group of visitors saw quite the interaction between a community of chimps during their stay at the popular tourist destination. It all started when one of the mature chimpanzees was playing with one of the infants. 

Accidents happen just as often in the animal kingdom as they do for us, humans. The pair were playing a little too rough when the young chimp fell off a 12-foot-high support beam. When chimpanzees are in distress, they make a crying sound that alerts the community around them.

The infant primate quickly cried out for its mother and boy, did the mother respond? In many social species, members of the group work together to protect a shared home range. Fighting in intergroup disputes has an opportunity cost, poses a danger of harm or death, and raises the likelihood of free-riding group members taking advantage of the situation. 

Due to this, it is uncommon for all group members to engage in combat during a particular between-group conflict, and personal range defense participation is frequently very unpredictable. That being said, the entire community in the enclosure went to attack the adult chimp which caused the young one to fall. 

You can hear visitors scream out in fear and young children asking for it to stop. It’s quite a graphic sight to see and no one expected to witness such wild behavior during their trip to the zoo. The main chimpanzee getting attacked attempts to make a run for it but didn’t stand a chance. 

Getting to Safety

As the footage of the interaction continues, we see the mother with her baby on her back climb up a rock structure. With a beautiful waterfall flowing down the side, the two are safe and sound in a serene environment. They have several community members surrounding them for protection. 

It’s said that if a mother primate is carrying a baby on her back, the entire family will keep it safe. Clearly, the adult chimp had no intention of hurting the infant. This just shows that the others in the area didn’t care. It’s all of their jobs to protect the young and by unintentionally putting the babe’s life in danger, they reacted defensively. 

The brawl became so intense that a zoo keeper made an attempt to intervene from a distance. There’s only so much the keeper can do without putting themselves in danger. Thankfully, the intense emotions between the primates settled and everyone carried on with their day. 

One thing is for sure, the visitors that witnessed this will always have one heck of a story to tell! 

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The Featured Image

chimpanzees fight
Fighting Chimpanzee bonobo ( Pan paniscus). Democratic Republic of Congo. Africa
© iStock.com/USO

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, her 14-year-old dog, or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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