The Kansas City Zoo has been fined thousands of dollars after inattentive staff caused one of its chimpanzees to starve to death.
13-year-old Nusu died in May, having lost 37 per cent of his body weight in 20 months - the last time he was put on the scales.
He should have weighed about 150 pounds but was just 97 pounds at the time of his death.
The federal government gave the zoo a fine of more than $4,500 over the actions of zookeepers who failed to prevent dominant chimps from stealing his food.
Their lack of attention caused Nusu's death, U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
'Your employees were not certain as to how much food this chimpanzee was consuming as they were not monitoring this animal specifically,' according to a letter sent to the zoo.
'They knew that other chimpanzees hoarded biscuits from the other chimpanzees,'
A daily log included no mention of Nusu's deteriorating health in the months leading up to his death.
As well as severe weight loss he suffered skin irritations but was never separated from the troop.
This week officials admitted they had failed to provide a reasonable level of care, but insisted changes have been made in light of the chimp's death.
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