Uganda’s oldest chimpanzee Zakayo is dead

On Thursday 26th April 2018,Uganda was hit with very saddening and depressing news of the passing of the country’s oldest chimpanzee,Zakayo,who died at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) at the age of 54. Zakayo had lived at UWEC for 42 years.By the time of his death, Zakayo was the most popular chimpanzee in the country.

Findings suggest that he succumbed to Chronic Gastroenteritis. Due to his old age, he was highly susceptible to opportunistic infections,” a statement from UWEC reads in part.

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.

Zakayo has left behind two wives, Amina and Ruth and one little one. He was popular among his fellow chimpanzees for being so caring and a lover of peace and harmony.

Fans and wildlife conservationists thronged the lake side zoo to send off Zakayo on Saturday. Zakayo’s body has been preserved and will be kept at the zoo for tourism purposes,only his intestines were buried!

For nearly a decade, old Zakayo had remained a household name and most popular inhabitant of the zoo, and the most popular attraction.

Chimpanzees according to statistics have a life span of 60 years in captivity and 45 in the wild.