Delhi zoo’s old­est an­i­mal, Rita, dies at 58

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

New Delhi: In­dia’s old­est chim­panzee, 58-yearold Rita, died at Delhi zoo on Tues­day af­ter suf­fer­ing a multi-or­gan fail­ure. Un­well since July, she was on a liq­uid diet for the past two months, and re­cently given an­i­mal pil­lows, blan­kets, a mat­tress and even a tele­vi­sion to cheer her up.

A zoo of­fi­cial said mul­ti­ple treat­ment method­olo­gies were in­cor­po­rated in treat­ing Rita af­ter con­sult­ing vet­eri­nar­i­ans of In­dian Vet­eri­nary Re­search In­sti­tute (IVRI) in Bareilly, Chat­tbir zoo in Pun­jab, Luc­know zoo and Van Vi­har Na­tional Park in Bhopal, and ex­perts from School of Wildlife Foren­sic Health in Ja­balpur. How­ever, she did not show much im­prove­ment. “Un­for­tu­nately, the an­i­mal died at 12.15pm on Tues­day,” said Riyaz Khan, cu­ra­tor at the Delhi zoo.

“She has been our con­stant mate for the past so many years. She was the old­est mem­ber of the fam­ily at Na­tional Zoo­log­i­cal Park.

We have lost a beloved mem­ber of the fam­ily,” the zoo said in a state­ment. The zoo has can­celled the in­au­gu­ral func­tion of the wildlife week, which was to be held on Oc­to­ber 2.

The tis­sues of her or­gans have been sent to IVRI for fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion. “The ex­act cause of the death will be con­firmed af­ter the lab­o­ra­tory ex­am­i­na­tion,” Khan added.

Born in 1960, Rita ar­rived at the zoo from Am­s­ter­dam in 1964 in ex­change of De­moi­selle cranes, and was paired with Max. Rita was loaned to the Ch­hat­bir zoo in 1985 but re­turned to Delhi in 2006. She was to cel­e­brate her 59th birth­day on De­cem­ber 15. Ear­lier this year, Rita was recog­nised as the old­est chim­panzee in the coun­try by the Limca Book of Records.

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Rita was on a liq­uid diet for the past two months

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