Keo, The Oldest Chimpanzee In America, Dies At Lincoln Park Zoo

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 30, 2013 10:25PM

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Keo as a young chimpanzee and in his twilight years. (Images courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo.)

Sad news from Lincoln Park Zoo where Keo, the oldest chimpanzee in captivity in North America, was euthanized Monday. He was 55. Staff at the zoo made the decision to euthanize Keo after advanced cardiac disease compromised his quality of life. The average life expectancy for a chimpanzee in a zoo is 31.7 years.

In addition to being the oldest chimpanzee in North America, Keo was the first of his species to arrive at Lincoln Park Zoo. He was only one when he arrived in Chicago and sired 11 offspring over the years. In his later years, Keo lived predominantly behind the scenes at the zoo’s Regenstein Center for African Apes with a female chimpanzee, Vicky, and her daughter Kibali.

Lincoln Park Zoo Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy said Keo’s “long, rich life is a testament to the wonderful care he received here as well as the veterinary advancements that have been made in the past five decades.”

A online memorial has been set up for Keo here.