Vicky, a 50-year-old chimpanzee and the last wild-born ape living at the Lincoln Park Zoo, has died.
“Veterinary advancements have geriatric animals living longer, healthier lives than ever before. That doesn’t make it easier to say goodbye to Vicky, but it does offer comfort to all those who will miss her,” the Chicago zoo said in a post on its website.
Compilations arose from Vicki’s advanced age and long-term heart condition, leading zoo officials to make the decision to humanely euthanize her on Wednesday, the post said.
Vicki was the last wild-born ape at the Lincoln Park Zoo, a practice that no longer takes place, the zoo said. The chimpanzee arrived in 1971 and lived all but two years of her life there, during which time the zoo built its Regenstein Center for African Apes.
After the death of Vicki’s longtime companion Keo last summer, she lived in a behind-the-scenes space with daughters Magadi and Kibali, and fellow female Cookie.
"Beyond impacting countless visitors, caregivers and friends of the zoo, Vicky’s passing highlights how much zoos have changed since her arrival," the zoo said.
Most female chimpanzees only live 38.7 years, the zoo said.