Cobby was the oldest male chimpanzee in the United States.
The San Francisco Zoo lost a dearly beloved member of its chimpanzee troop on Saturday. Cobby, who was 63 years old, had lived at the zoo for decades. As the oldest male chimpanzee in a North American zoo, he was very well cared for by the SF zookeepers. Chimpanzees can live up to 60 years under human care, and 40-50 years in the wild, according to the Zoo’s website.
We are heartbroken to share the sad news of the passing of our beloved Cobby, 63-year-old male chimpanzee. Cobby, a gentle soul, brought a calming presence to our troop of seven and was a protective companion to Minnie and Maggie, who he lived with for 42 years. pic.twitter.com/WLFoJk9e1u
— San Francisco Zoo (@sfzoo) June 6, 2021
“As the oldest male chimp in any accredited N. American zoo, he bridged generations of zoo-goers as a fan favorite & was beloved by all,” continued SF Zoo on Twitter. “Over the years, Cobby enjoyed resting on the various platforms, snacking on his favorite foods, climbing up high, & interacting w/ his keepers.”
Cobby was part of a trio of elderly chimpanzees in the Zoo. He leaves behind two other senior female chimpanzees, Minnie and Maggie, who are both in their 50s. The four younger chimpanzees are 2 males and 2 females named Gombus, Michael, Beth, and Connie.
Fans of Cobby took to Twitter and Reddit to express their condolences.
So sad to hear about Cobby 💔
— SL ⁷ 🧈 PLS GET VACCINATED!!! 🖤💜💙 (@nykimchi) June 6, 2021
Condolences to all of his friends.
— j.c.smith (@cliche_mist) June 6, 2021
Chimpanzees are quite adaptable, intelligent, and fascinating animals hailing from west and central Africa. The SF Zoo tells us that they are known for “making and using simple tools, such as twigs for eating termites and rocks for cracking nuts.” Genetically, they are more closely related to humans than they are to gorillas, sharing 98.4% of our DNA.
These incredible animals have been listed as an endangered species since 1990 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Conservation efforts have been underway for years in order to preserve and protect the species. The Zoo suggests purchasing FSC Certified paper and wood to avoid contributing to deforestation, and supporting chimpanzee organizations such as the Jane Goodall Institute.
The San Francisco Zoo is open daily from 10am to 5pm, and reservations are required so as to meet Covid capacity requirements.
Featured image: @sfzoo via Twitter