Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Taronga Zoo chimp Bessie was 60 years old when she died. Picture: RICK STEVENS
ONE of the oldest chimpanzees at Taronga Zoo died on Tuesday.
Bessie celebrated her 60th birthday last year, but had shown signs of dementia for a few years.
It was believed that Bessie’s organs were shutting down, and zoo veterinarians took the difficult decision to end her life.
Taronga veterinarian Frances Hulst said it was a very difficult decision to make. “We owed it to Bessie, one of our favourite chimpanzees, to alleviate her suffering and allow her to slip away peacefully,” she said.
Taronga’s primate manager Louise Grossfeldt - who has worked closely with Bessie - said the other chimpanzees had taken their time to say goodbye.
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