One of nine chimpanzees moved to a Texas sanctuary after Ohio State University decided to close a research center died following his transfer, school officials said.
The 35-year-old male, named Kermit, stopped breathing Thursday after workers at Primarily Primates in San Antonio sedated him during a move from a transfer cage to living quarters, university spokesman Earle Holland said. Workers tried to resuscitate the chimp.
The university suspects Kermit's head fell forward while he was sedated, blocking his airway. Obesity may have been a factor in the death of the 300-pound chimp, Holland said.
Ohio State veterinarians were to travel to San Antonio to check on the other chimps, and meet with sanctuary officials and the veterinarian performing Kermit's necropsy.
The other chimps were successfully sedated and doing fine, Holland said. Chimps can become violent when confronted by humans so they are sedated when being moved, he said.