The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicagoist Wants to Stop Posting About Animal Deaths Already!

By Andrew Peerless in Miscellaneous on May 2, 2005 2:57PM

In what now seems to be a grim, depressing and all-too-frequent ritual, Chicagoist has the regrettable task of informing you about the deaths of two more residents of the Lincoln Park Zoo this morning. Our hearts are heavy yet again, this time for dearly departed lowland gorilla named Mumbali and, somewhat predictably, our dear pachyderm friend Wankie.

2005_5_elephant.jpgFirst of all, Chicagoist is crying this morning over poor Wankie. We told you last week that the 36-year-old gal, left alone by the deaths of all her elephant companions, was destined for a new life at another zoo (presumably Salt Lake City's Hogle Zoo). She was less than 24 hours into her trip when, apparently, she just had enough. She laid down (Chicagoist doesn't understand the significance of this, but it seems to spell "curtains!" for elephants), and when a group of veterinarians from the Lincoln Park, Hogle and San Diego zoos convened to examine her, they came to conclusion that Wankie should be euthanized. She was put down once she reached Salt Lake City.

Also this weekend, a 7-year-old gorilla named Mumbali was euthanized after failing to recover from kidney failure. Her ailment was apparently caused by a "mystery illness" that may have also have been responsible for the illness of her sister, Rollie, who is currently recovering from similar symptoms. It was too late for Mumbali, though, who now joins her grandmother, Kumba (who died of kidney failure in February) in that great banana tree in the sky.

Chicagoist was about to start knocking on zoo doors and demanding some explanations this morning, but saw that zoo President Kevin Bell is requesting an independent audit by the US Department of Agriculture and the the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, to make sure things are on track and allay community fears that the zoo is doubling as some sort of death factory.

In the meantime, the zoo will be filling the elephants' old space with some camel friends, and have no plans to bring more elephants into the fold for the moment.