[monkeywire] Chimp Bites Off Berlin Zoo Director's Finger

josh.greenman at gmail.com josh.greenman at gmail.com
Mon Jun 8 23:12:43 EDT 2009


http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,629309,00.html

06/08/2009 06:27 PM

FINGER FOOD

Chimp Bites Off Berlin Zoo Director's Finger

Was it an accident, greed or revenge for being locked up? A chimpanzee called Pedro made a name for himself on Monday by biting off the forefinger of Berlin Zoo's director.

A chimpanzee called Pedro bit off the forefinger of Berlin Zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz on Monday as he was trying to feed him through the bars of his cage.

A spokeswoman for the zoo said Blaszkiewitz, 55, had been leading a group round the zoo and wanted to hand Pedro a snack through the bars when the chimp grabbed his arm and bit off almost all of his forefinger. "It was just hanging by a shred of skin," local daily "B.Z." quoted an eyewitness as saying. 

Blaszkiewitz was rushed to hospital where doctors tried to sew his finger back on. Zookeepers said their boss hadn't stuck to the safety rules that he kept on reminding them about -- maintaining distance to the animals. Chimpanzees are known to be potentially dangerous. 

Blaszkiewitz kept calm despite his wound. "He wasn't any more upset than if someone had trodden on his foot," the spokeswoman said. 

The zoo couldn't immediately be reached on Monday evening to ascertain whether the operation was successful and whether Pedro has had his banana rations cut.

Blaszkiewitz presided over the hand-rearing of polar bear cub Knut in 2007. The bear became an international media celebrity and brought the zoo a surge in visitor numbers and profits. 


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