Montgomery Zoo mourns loss of beloved chimpanzee

Montgomery Zoo
Montgomery Zoo’s chimpanzee Snika. (Montgomery Zoo)

Snika, the Montgomery Zoo’s oldest chimpanzee, passed away after a sudden decline in health. 

A beloved resident at the Montgomery Zoo since December 1994, Snika was loved by thousands of guests and Zoo members. 

According to the Zoo, even though her true birth date is not known, she was estimated to be in her 60s or even older, being quite possibly one of the oldest chimps in human care at the time of her death. 

Average lifespan for chimpanzees is roughly 33 years old in nature and up to 40 years in captivity.

“Snika was one of the most incredible and patient animals I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with,”  Andi Clason, Montgomery Zoo’s Animal Care Manager said in a statement released to the media. “She was a wonderful teacher to our younger chimps, our staff, and our team as a whole. Our hearts are incredibly heavy with this loss, as it is one that is felt through the Zoo. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from her independent, patient, and strong spirit.”

Sassy-self Snuggling

If you never got to see Snika, here is how the Zoo described her:

“Snika was often everyone’s introduction to chimps – be it new zookeepers, interns, or to the public. You could see her sassy-self snuggling in a blanket, often perched on top of one of the highest posts on habitat. Snika loved movies, magazines, treats, and attention. She was patient with the other chimps, zookeepers, and veterinary staff. Snika facilitated a love for Great Apes in many people, helping draw attention to the Endangered status of Chimpanzees in their native habitat.”

Secret to a Long Life

Following her death, a full necropsy, which is a standard procedure,will be performed so that zoos across the world can learn Snika’s secret to such a long life.

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington
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