Mysore zoo’s fav chimp dies at 51

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Hairless Chimpanzee at Mysore  ZooMysore, August 6, 2013: Wali, the 51-year-old male chimpanzee at the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens here, died of old age-related illness on Tuesday.

The animal was the main attraction at the zoo and often played pranks on visitors.
Chimpanzees have an average lifespan of 35-40 years in the wild.

According to the zoo officials, Wali had been sick for the past two weeks. In the last few days, he did not show interest in taking food and remained dull. The medical attention provided to him did little to improve his health.

A favourite among zookeepers, Wali could truly lay claim to the zoo as it was born and brought up here. He was born to Max and Meena in 1962. After his birth, however, his mother refused to feed him, leaving him solely in the care of the zookeepers.

His interaction as a child with human beings made him closer to them than members of his species. As a result, he would often remain alone without mingling with other chimpanzees. In his last days, however, he mingled with a female chimpanzee, Ganga, who is now 58.

Wali was the prettiest animal at the zoo and very friendly to the visitors. He was known for playing pranks on visitors and often clapped and whistled at their call.

While senility (the physical and mental infirmity of old age) is said to have caused his death, the exact cause will be known only after a postmortem is conducted, said B P Ravi, the executive director of the zoo.

Wali’s death has left the zoo with only four chimpanzees – Guru, Ganga, Mirella and Mason. As part of an animal exchange programme, two male and a female chimpanzee from a Singapore zoo will be transferred to the Mysore zoo shortly.

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