Feds investigate gorilla death
Mar 03,2009 00:00 by UPI

ST. LOUIS - Federal inspectors say they're investigating the death of an 8-year-old gorilla that apparently strangled himself at the St. Louis Zoo.

Muchana, one of the zoo's four gorillas, was found dead Saturday, his neck entangled in strands of a braided rope that hung in his cage, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday.

Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited the zoo Monday to check for compliance with the U.S. Animal Welfare Act, said Agriculture Department spokeswoman Braie German.

In 2007, the Agriculture Department fined the zoo $7,500 for the deaths of two polar bears within weeks of each other.

A polar bear named Churchill died in May 2005 after a piece of cloth became trapped in his stomach. Five weeks later, a bear named Penny died from an infection caused by carrying two dead fetuses, the Post-Dispatch reported.

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