Lincoln Park Zoo’s senior chimp is euthanized - New York News

Lincoln Park Zoo’s senior chimp is euthanized

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

One of the oldest chimpanzees in any North American zoo was euthanized by the veterinary staff at Lincoln Park Zoo on Monday.

Keo, a 55-year-old male, was the Near North Side zoo's first chimp, arriving in 1959 when he was just a year old. Officials cited a decline in his health and quality of life as reasons for euthanization.

"Keo was always full of personality, even as his health began to decline," Dr. Steve Ross, director of the zoo's ape center, said in a statement.

The chimp was suffering from advanced cardiac disease at the time of his euthanization, the statement said.

During his life at the zoo, Keo fathered 11 offspring.

"Keo was an incredibly special individual. He was truly a member of our family and will be missed dearly," Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy said in the statement. "His long, rich life is a testament to the wonderful care he received here as well as the veterinary advancements that have been made in the past five decades."

The median life expectancy for male chimpanzees in zoos is 31.7 years. The longest on record is 61 years.

During his later year, Keo lived mostly behind the scenes at Regenstein Center for African Apes, the statement said.

A memorial page has been set up at www.lpzoo.org/keo-memorial.

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