A captive gorilla has died after being sedated so he could be transported to a different zoo.
Bantu the gorilla was given the sedative as vets prepared to transfer him from his home at Chapultepec zoo in Mexico City to Guadalajara – 340 miles away – to mate with two females, reports The Mirror.
Unfortunately, before they could set off, 24-year-old Bantu suffered a heart attack and, according to Mexico City’s environment department, frantic efforts to resuscitate him failed and he was pronounced dead.
According to AFP, around 20 experts are thought to have been involved in the transportation efforts and tests are now being carried out to establish the exact cause of Bantu’s death.
Bantu was a popular attraction at the zoo and employees are reportedly ‘greatly distressed’ by the incident.
The Environment Department said:
This incident has caused great consternation among zoo personnel who cared for him for nearly 25 years.
They added that all international veterinary protocols had been followed in the incident.
Bantu’s death comes less than two months after a gorilla was shot dead at Cincinnati Zoo after a three-year-old boy entered his enclosure.
The silverback – called Harambe – was shot dead by employees after grabbing hold of the toddler.
The shooting sparked worldwide outrage after footage emerged of Harambe wrapping his arms around the youngster in an apparent bid to protect him – although the zoo maintain they made the correct decision in killing the gorilla.