Poop-flinging John Ball Zoo chimpanzee has a history

A chimpanzee at the John Ball Zoo threw its feces and hit a woman in the face.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Grandma is not the first victim of the poo-slinging chimpanzee.

The chief operating officer at the John Ball Zoo, Andy McIntyre, said that while he is not sure the chimp has ever managed to hit someone with its feces before, this sort of behavior is not out of the ordinary for him. 

"One of our chimpanzees is very people focused, so a lot of times when he will demonstrate certain behaviors -- those behaviors are ones people have a reaction to ... it kind of creates a feedback loop in that case," McIntyre said.

The woman who took the video recalled the chimpanzee exhibit was especially packed Sunday, April 2 -- a lot of children were taunting the animal, and she watched him become more and more agitated.

Erin Vargo, a Grand Valley State University senior, is a former employee of the zoo and said she is familiar with the signs of an annoyed chimp. 

McIntyre said the zoo hired a behavioral specialist this past winter to help the zookeepers to better understand this type of behavior and how to combat it.

The zoo typically files reports and keeps incidents like this on file for future reference. McIntyre said the zoo will also be installing a new form of barrier to keep similar incidents from happening again. 

John Ball Zoo does ask that patrons are respectful of the animals and their home exhibit.

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