Chimpanzees that survived German zoo fire show signs of healing

Two chimpanzees who survived a devastating fire at a German zoo over New Year are on the way to recovery, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Thirty animals were killed when Krefeld Zoo’s Great Ape House caught fire shortly after midnight on January 1. Investigations indicated that the blaze was started by a candle-carrying Chinese lantern that landed the enclosure.

Chimpanzees Limbo and Bally survived the fire with slight injuries, and their external wounds have healed, the zoo said.

Limbo, the male, has taken to displaying more dominant behaviour, something that shows that the animal is becoming more psychologically stable, spokeswoman Petra Schwinn said.

He ruffles his fur, bangs on metal doors and waves branches, Schwinn said. “That’s something he didn’t do before,” she added.

Limbo’s dominant behaviour is normal for Bally.

According to the zoo, the two chimpanzees have a new, shielded place to live in the indoor facilities of the gorilla enclosure but without contact to the gorilla family living in the zoo.

In the long term, Bally and Limbo will likely be transferred to another zoo and live there with other chimpanzees, the zoo said.

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