The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden sadly announced the passing of 3-year-old Amali, a bonobo baby.
Amali’s death was confirmed on the zoo’s website on Monday.
In a heartbreaking statement, the zoo revealed, “This loss comes after a week of supportive care, due to a respiratory syntactical virus (RSV) outbreak within the bonobo troop.”
RSV, a virus common among human babies, has seen an increase in cases over the past two years. While most children survive the virus, it poses a significant threat to younger babies. The susceptibility of bonobo babies to RSV and secondary infections makes them particularly vulnerable, according to the Cincinnati Zoo.
Following Amali’s unexpected passing, the bonobo troop was given the opportunity to pay their respects and begin the grieving process. “The entire bonobo troop adored her; from our large adult males to her half-brother Bo, everyone was a playmate but made sure to be gentle and tender with her,” shared one of Amali’s caretakers. “Bonobos are incredibly intelligent and their social group is tight-knit.”
The zoo did not disclose the exact number of bonobos affected by the RSV outbreak, but they did mention that the troop is showing signs of recovery. Staff members remain hopeful that the infection has mostly run its course.
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