From: Anna Johnson, Associated Press
Published May 13, 2005 12:00 AM

Chicago Zoo Probed After Three Monkeys Die

CHICAGO — The group that accredits U.S. zoos and had been reviewing elephant care at the Lincoln Park Zoo expanded its investigation to the entire facility Thursday after learning three monkeys had died this week, officials said.


The three Francois langur monkeys that died had recently been transferred to a new exhibit.


The zoo previously had asked the American Zoo and Aquarium Association for a review after the last of three African elephants brought to Lincoln Park Zoo in 2003 -- over the objections of animal activists -- had to be euthanized.


A camel and two gorillas also have died at the zoo since October.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also investigating, department spokeswoman Amy Spillman said.


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The zoo and its president, Kevin Bell, have come under intense scrutiny by animal rights groups after a 36-year-old African elephant was euthanized May 1 shortly after being moved to Salt Lake City. The other two African elephants had died, and the animals need companionship, zoo officials said.


Animal activists had opposed the elephants' placement in Chicago, warning the animals would suffer after enjoying the outdoors year round at the San Diego Zoo.


Bell offered his resignation Thursday.


Last month, the zoo also euthanized a female gorilla because of kidney failure. In February, Kumba, the first gorilla ever born at the Chicago zoo, died after her health deteriorated.


Source: Associated Press


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