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Gorilla Autopsy Photos Cause Controversy

Photos of the dismembered body of Bantú the gorilla, who died Thursday after being sedated, were published by a national newspaper

An installation by the Great Ape Project near Chapultepec Zoo memorializing great apes Saturday, July 10, 2016, photo: Cuartoscuro/Galo Cañas
By The News Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
1 year ago

The body of Bantú the Gorilla, who died while being transported from the Chapultepec Zoo to the Guadalajara Zoo, has been opened, decapitated and cut into pieces, according to images that were published in a national newspaper.

The images have created controversy. Former director of the Chapultepec Zoo Marielena Hoyo said that she would not have allowed the gorilla to be “dismembered.”

“I understand that they need to open the animal to take tissue samples, but it’s not necessary to dismember it and butcher it like that,” she said.

Specialists told the newspaper that published the images that it is sometimes necessary to completely open an animal’s body to get information.

Hoyo said that she is worried about the undignified treatment of the animal’s body and says that there is a procedure to dispose of zoo animals’ remains.

The Mexican section of the Great Ape Project, an international organization that advocates for non-human great apes, criticized the decision to transport Bantú to Guadalajara.

Paulina Bermúdez, of the Great Ape Project, said that there “horrible management” during the gorilla’s transport, as 20 people were involved in moving Bantú into a cage. Bantú was not accustomed to the company of this many people.

Bermúdez also criticized the zoo for sedating Bantú without looking for other options.

“They could have baited him with food instead of putting him to sleep,” she said. “People who were with him also said that he was overweight due to lack of exercise.”

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