Zoo to erect Rita’s statue outside its enclosure
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.