Uganda holds vigil for its oldest chimpanzee who died at age 54

Mildred Europa Taylor April 27, 2018
Uganda's oldest chimpanzee, Zakayo --- ChimpReports

Uganda’s conservation family is in tears following the death of the country’s oldest chimpanzee, Zakayo.

The 54-year-old died on Wednesday at the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre (UWEC) in Entebbe, according to a statement from the centre.

Zakayo who has been at the centre for 42 years has not been feeling well for the past three weeks and preliminary findings indicated that he succumbed to chronic gastroenteritis.

“Due to his old age, he was highly susceptible to opportunistic infections. Please join us as we celebrate the life of this legendary chimpanzee who once lived as a dominant male and brought up the chimpanzee family at UWEC,” the UWEC said in a statement cited by local media The Observer.

Zakayo nurtured two Alpha male chimpanzees, Matooke, who led the group up to 2013, and Aluma who took over in 2013 up to date.

UWEC has announced that it will hold a vigil for Zakayo on Friday at UWEC beach followed by his burial on Saturday.

Zakayo was raised by a white man who found him abandoned in Semiliki National Park in Bundibugyo District on June 10, 1964.

The white man handed him over to the UWEC on June 19, 1976, after Zakayo started becoming aggressive and difficult to take care of.

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