Herman the chimpanzee, a beloved fixture at Lowry Park Zoo since 1965, died Thursday after a violent altercation with another male chimp in the zoo's primate display area.
The 42-year-old African-born alpha male underwent hours of surgery following the afternoon brawl and died shortly after 7 p.m., zoo spokeswoman Rachel Nelson said.
"Herman was a very, very well-loved animal at the zoo," Nelson said. "Our staff is just devastated, and he will be very dearly missed."
Rukiya, a 26-year-old female chimp who intervened in Thursday's fight, received injuries requiring stitches. She was expected to recover.
It was unclear what caused the fight between Herman and Bamboo, another older chimp who has resided at the zoo for five years, Nelson said. Bamboo received minor injuries.