‘Talking’ orangutan dies
AN orangutan who communicated with researchers using sign-language has died at a U.S. zoo.
Zoo Atlanta said Chantek, who was 39, died on Monday. The cause of death is not known, but vets had been treating him for progressive heart disease.
He was born at Atlanta’s Yerkes Language Research Centre and spent nine years living with researchers at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Researchers raised him like a human child and taught him at least 150 words in American Sign Language. He was taught other human skills such as using a toilet and cleaning his room.
Zoo Atlanta said Chantek was given a “naturalistic” living environment with other orangutans.