The Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre (UWEC) announced Thursday that the oldest known chimpanzee, Zakayo died at the age of 54 years.
UWEC stated that Zakayo was captured from Semliki National Park and later found his way to a new owner (expatriate) on 10th June, 1964 who claimed to have confiscated him from people who held him illegally.
At 13 years, the expatriate surrendered him to Entebbe Zoo on 19th June 1976. He had become so aggressive to be kept as a pet. Chimpanzees never make good pets.
At the time, one would have expected that he would have been sold abroad to; zoos or circus facilities that were at their peak in the 1960s and 1980s, but he was spared and lived his last 42 years at UWEC.
Preliminary findings suggest that he succumbed to chronic Gastroenteritis. Due to his old age, he was highly susceptible to opportunistic infections. Zakayo had become senile and given his past history.
Zakayo leaves behind 284 other animals at the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre (UWEC).