A chimpanzee died last week at the Los Angeles Zoo after being bitten by a rattlesnake, zoo officials said Monday.
The chimp died Wednesday after it was bitten by a rattler that fell into the Mahali Mountain chimpanzee exhibit, zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs said.
The snake bit the chimp from a bush inside its habitat, Jacobs said, adding that antivenin failed to save the primate. A necropsy is being performed on the animal.
A zookeeper close to the situation gave a different account of the incident, saying the chimp's minders waited hours before calling help.
The keeper, who asked to remain anonymous,said the 25-year-old male chimp was bitten at 1 p.m. and got a bad case of the shakes.
"They didn't call anyone til 3 p.m., and then they didn't even call a vet; they called The Reptile House," according to the keeper.
The zookeeper said that instead of giving the chimp antivenin, zoo veterinarians gave him Benadryl.
Rattlesnakes are common in rustic Griffith Park, Jacobs said, but snake-related deaths of zoo animals are rare. Seven years ago, a pair of lemurs died from snakebites, he said.