Tuesday 02 June 2020

Mama, the Netherlands’ oldest chimpanzee, dies at 59

Mama as an elderly lady. Photo Burgers Zoo via Facebook

Mama as an elderly lady. Photo Burgers’ Zoo via Facebook

The oldest chimpanzee in captivity in the Netherlands has died at the age of 59.

The female, known as Mama, was born in the wild around 1957 and brought to the Netherlands from Germany in 1971. She was one of the founder chimps of the   colony at Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem.

The chimp had an ‘extraordinarily strong and dominant personality’, primate expert Frans de Waal said on the zoo’s website. ‘She will be sadly missed, not least of all by me. I have rarely witnessed such an astonishing character in human or primate.’

The Arnhem colony was the centre of much international research because the group included a number of unrelated adults – the first time this had been done in captivity.

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