Friday, December 27, 2002

ZOO INMATE NEVER WAKES UP

Toledo Zoo chimp's death leaves pal bereft

Toledo - A 45-year-old chimpanzee at the Toledo Zoo has died in her sleep, leaving keepers worried about the zoo's last chimp, now living without companionship.

Keepers thought Elie was asleep, nestled in her blankets, when they arrived for work on Friday. But then they watched 42-year-old Fifi tapping on Elie and pulling on her hand.

"She wouldn't get up," said Jim Ravas, zoo marketing director....

Chimps can live up to 60 years in captivity, but they are considered elderly by age 40. An exam was scheduled for yesterday to determine the cause of death.

It is not clear what will happen to Fifi.

Zoo Executive Director Bill Dennler has said that the zoo would not acquire any more chimps, which are highly social animals that live in tight-knit groups in the wild.