Montgomery Zoo mourns loss of ‘treasured’ chimpanzee, Snika
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Montgomery Zoo has suffered an “immeasurable loss” after the passing of their oldest chimpanzee, Snika.
According to the zoo, Snika suffered a sudden and severe decline in health that was unresponsive to treatment. The zoo made the difficult decision to have Snika humanely euthanized to prevent further suffering or injury from her troop mates.
“Snika was one of the most incredible and patient animals I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with,” said Andi Clason, animal care manager. “She was a wonderful teacher to our younger chimps, our staff, and our team as a whole. Our hearts are incredibly heavy with this loss, as it is one that is felt through the Zoo. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from her independent, patient, and strong spirit.”
Snika was a part of the Montgomery Zoo’s Chimpanzee habitat since December 2004. While her true birthdate is not known, the zoo estimates she was in her 60s or even older, making her possibly one of the oldest chimps in human care. The average lifespan for chimpanzees is roughly 33 years old in nature and up to 40 years in captivity.
Snika was often everyone’s introduction to chimps, be it new zookeepers, interns, or to the public, the zoo said in a release. Her “sassy-self” could often be seen snuggling in a blanket, perched on top of one of the highest posts in the habitat. She loved movies, magazines, treats, and attention, the zoo added. She was patient with the other chimps, zookeepers, and veterinary staff.
Snika facilitated a love for Great Apes in many people, helping draw attention to the endangered status of Chimpanzees in their native habitat.
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