Auckland Zoo staff have said a difficult farewell to one of their leading-ladies, 60-year-old chimpanzee Janie.
Head of Life Sciences Kevin Buley says Janie was euthanised early this afternoon once it became clear that we could no longer maintain her standard of welfare, due to multiple health issues and natural ageing.
"Janie was and always will be a special part of Auckland Zoo and we are very saddened by her loss" says Mr Buley. "While it was a heartbreaking decision, the overwhelming desire to preserve Janie's dignity meant it was the right one."
The last of the 'tea-party chimps', Janie's passing also symbolises the passing of an era.
Janie was the oldest animal in our Zoo family, and one of the oldest chimpanzees in a zoo in the world.
She came to Auckland Zoo from London Zoo in 1956 with her three companions, Bobbie Josie, and Minnie to showcase 'Chimp tea parties' to entertain the public. Changing zoo and public attitudes saw the tea parties stop well over four decades ago, in 1963.
Due to the incredible love and care Janie received from her primate keepers and our vet team, she remained in extraordinary good health and spirits over the years.
Janie was highly intelligent, cheeky, funny and wise, and in her 57 years here, connected with millions of visitors, was treasured by Zoo staff, and loved by many in the Auckland community.
In lieu of flowers, if people would like to pay tribute to Janie, donations can be made to the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund at the Zoo or online.
Condolence messages can be emailed to: email@example.com