Chimp Raised by Humans Killed by Fellow Chimps After Trying to Integrate

A chimpanzee who grew up in captivity and was sent to a sanctuary to learn how to act like a chimp has been beaten to death by other chimps.

The 4-year-old female ape, named Baran, had been relocated from Eram Zoo in Iran to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in central Kenya in August.

The sanctuary is in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which covers 220 square miles in Laikipia County. According to a statement posted on Facebook by the organization, the new arrival had an unexpected encounter with some of the other chimpanzees, who reacted aggressively to her

"The caregivers quickly intervened to stop the aggression, however, within the short space of time, Baran had already suffered severe injuries and required urgent medical intervention," the statement said. "Despite the efforts to save her life, she eventually succumbed due to the injuries."

Baran, who was born in 2017 at Tehran's largest wildlife center, had a troubled life. Her mother failed to bond with the infant and she was not accepted by the other chimpanzees at the zoo.

After the death of her mother, Baran—whose name means "rain" in Persian—had to be moved to a cage alone to protect her from attacks by the other apes.

The transfer to the Kenyan sanctuary was the result of months of collaboration between Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Eram Zoo, the Kenya Wildlife Service, Iranian embassy officials and other animal welfare organizations.

Following the transfer, Baran was quarantined for 90 days, as required by the Kenya Wildlife Service. During this period she will have had access to round-the-clock veterinary care, because the rescued chimps who arrive at Sweetwater generally need to be nursed back to health.

"Baran had successfully completed her quarantine period since her arrival at the sanctuary and had been moved from quarantine to the main chimpanzee house where she was in the process of being integrated with the other chimpanzees," Ol Pejeta Conservancy wrote. "She was at the primary stage of integration in a facility where she could see the other chimpanzees from a distance, but with no physical contact."

During this stage, which the charity says is necessary to help the chimps familiarize themselves with one another until a bond is formed to enable the next stage of integration, Baran breached security and encountered the other chimps.

The conservancy statement continued: "Whilst the chimpanzees were in a separate room from Baran, there was a small section in the wall with grilles between them. It was between these grilles that a physical encounter occurred with some of the other chimpanzees."

Ol Pejeta Conservancy said 22 chimpanzees had been successfully integrated into the Sweetwaters sanctuary in previous years.

It added: "We take this situation very seriously and shall ensure procedures and protocols are further strengthened.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Baran as she was poised to become a youthful member of the larger family of 34 chimpanzees living within the sanctuary."

Chimp Baran
Baran, a 4-year-old female chimpanzee. Baran was relocated from Iran to a chimpanzee sanctuary in Kenya. Ol Pejeta Conservancy