PORTLAND, Ore. – Sad news from the Oregon Zoo Monday, Leah the Chimpanzee has died.
At 47, she was one of the oldest animals at the zoo.
“This is a tough loss for the entire zoo, but especially for her care staff,” said Dr. Carlos Sanchez, the zoo’s lead veterinarian. “I hope knowing that we did everything we could for Leah, and that she passed away peacefully in her sleep, is a comfort. Her remarkable age says a lot about the great care she’s received over the years.”
She became famous for her decades-long friendship with Jane Goodall.
“Back during Leah’s first years, Dr. Goodall helped the zoo find funding for a big outdoor area to house all the chimps,” keeper Colleen Reed said. “Primate Forest is a natural outgrowth of those early developments, and we’re so grateful she got to experience it in her lifetime.”
Chimps normally live to be about 33 years old in the wild and about 42 years in a zoo.