Leipzig (dpa / sn) – The 47-year-old ape drowned in the Leipzig Zoo. His fellow monkeys had cornered the formerly highest-ranking monkey so much in a sudden and violent argument that he got over the safety limits and into the deep part of the ditch, as zoo director Jörg Junhold announced on Tuesday in Leipzig. Since chimpanzees cannot swim, the monkey named Robert drowned immediately.

“We are deeply shaken,” Junhold said. The incident had already occurred on August 25th. A pathological finding now shows that the male monkey, which had meanwhile descended in the hierarchy, had no other injuries.

Aggressive clashes in chimpanzee groups cannot be ruled out, the zoo said. Fatal cases have been observed regularly in wild populations by researchers. In the monkey enclosure of the Leipzig Zoo, however, this is the first incident in this form.