An adult male baboon mauled his newborn son in the public exhibit at Riverbanks Zoo on Monday, and the baby died from the injuries later at the zoo?s hospital.
Zoo keepers prefer that animals give birth with as little human intervention as possible, especially in the case of primates with their strong social dynamics, said John Davis, Riverbanks? curator of mammals.
Keepers knew Imi, the female baboon, was about to give birth and kept a close watch on Monday. She went into labor around 10:30 a.m. and gave birth around noon. Although Imi left the newborn on the ground and walked a few steps away, things seemed to be going OK, Davis said.
Imi hovered nearby as one of the other female baboons checked out the baby and then Makale, the male, examined the newcomer twice.
?Everything seemed positive and good at that point,? Davis said.