The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kalu the Chimpanzee's future looks dim

The world’s richest ape today learnt that it is now 'practically penniless' as its aristocrat heiress owner revealed that she is has lost her entire fortune.
Kalu the Congolese chimpanzee was estimated to be worth around £40million as one of the main heirs to eccentric owner Patricia O’Neill’s inherited millions.

Today however, Mrs O’Neill, 85, revealed that her fabulous wealth has been ‘stolen from under her nose’ and that she is now ‘penniless’

While Kalu is still in the aristocrat’s will, the ape is likely to receive practically nothing on her owner’s death.

Mrs O’Neil is the daughter of the Countess of Kenmore and the ex-wife of Olympic medal winning Australian swimmer Frank O’Neill.

The British aristocrat lives with Kalu the chimp, 30 dogs and 11 cats in a sprawling estate near Cape Town, South Africa.

Her closest relationship, however, is with her beloved chimp, which she found tied to a tree outside the home of the Argentinian Consul General in war torn Zaire.

She took the animal back to Broadlands, her Cape Town estate. Although she said that the animal initially seemed 'terrified and traumatised,' she soon settled in.

Brought up in Britain, she has spent the past 30 years living in the wealthy farming community near Cape Town, where she is at the centre of an aristocratic social circle.

However, while she continues to live a life of luxury, she yesterday told a South African newspaper that thanks to ‘a crooked advisor’ she is down to her ‘last £100,000'.

She said: 'I was accustomed to a lavish lifestyle. I didn’t have to worry about money. Whatever I wanted then I got. If I wanted a new car I’d get a new car. But things have changed.' She added: 'I’m a woman who does not really know about money. I’m not good with dates and figures.'

Mrs O’Neill revealed that since she discovered her precarious financial situation earlier this year, she has had been living off donations from wealthy friends. She has also been forced to auction off some of her valuable jewelry.

It is believed that Mrs O’Neill’s money was taken in small portions over the past ten years.

The huge loss was only discovered this year, when her brother Lord Caryll Waterpark employed an account to look through their accounts.

Mrs O’Neill said: 'My brother got auditors to investigate. They came to South Africa for about a month was trying to find out where the money was. What happened to me was unbelievable.'

She said: “The sad thing is that there was practically nothing left when I discovered what was happening.'

The widow, who wrote a bestselling autobiography 'A Lion in My Bedroom' said that although she has now changed her will, her animals will still benefit her on her death.

She said: “I don’t know how much will be left when I die. I don’t want to spend much money because I am determined that my animals will be cared for.'

Until Mrs O’Neill’s revelation, Kalu, 25, was widely thought to be the second richest pet in the world.

The richest is thought to be a German Shepherd dog called Gunther IV, believed to be worth around £90million which he inherited from his father, Gunther III, who had in turn been the sole heir of the German countess Karlotta Liebenstein.

Story credit and photo here

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