Zoo to erect Rita’s statue out­side its en­clo­sure

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

New Delhi: A day after 58-year-old Rita, In­dia’s old­est chim­panzee, died due to a mul­ti­ple or­gan fail­ure at Delhi zoo, of­fi­cials said they plan to build a statue out­side its en­clo­sure to com­mem­o­rate the an­i­mal.

Riyaz Khan, Delhi zoo cu­ra­tor, said the statue would be built on Rita’s birth­day on De­cem­ber 15. “We were hope­ful that she would make it till 60, but her con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated over the last few months. De­spite all the com­forts pro­vided to her, age caught up with her. We plan to build a statue out­side her en­clo­sure, which is cur­rently empty,” Khan told TOI.

Rita came to the Na­tional Zoo­log­i­cal Park from Am­s­ter­dam Zoo in ex­change for a pair of demoi­selle cranes in 1964. Since then, she has shared a lot of his­tory with the zoo, an­other of­fi­cial said.

In 2017, Delhi zoo started cel­e­brat­ing her birth­day where, as part of the day-long event, vis­i­tors could take self­ies with her cut-outs and en­joy a piece of cake.

The zoo au­thor­i­ties said that the tis­sues of the an­i­mal’s or­gans have been sent to IVRI for fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion. “The cause of death will be con­firmed after the re­sult of the lab­o­ra­tory ex­am­i­na­tion,” said Khan. The an­i­mal had been un­well since July and was kept on a liq­uid diet. In ad­di­tion, mat­tresses, blan­kets and a tele­vi­sion were pro­vided to her.

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