Edinburgh Zoo's oldest chimpanzee David dies at age 46

Wildlife Conservation charity RZSS announced that David, the eldest chimpanzee at Edinburgh Zoo, has sadly been put down after experiencing age related health problems.

By Anna Bryan
Thursday, 11th November 2021, 7:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th November 2021, 8:13 pm

RZSS said: “Taking into account his quality of life and wellbeing, our vets and animal keepers advised David should be put to sleep to ensure he did not suffer.

“He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with everyone who cared for him”.

David was born at Edinburgh Zoo in 1975, and at 46-years-old, he lived to be one of the oldest animals at the zoo.

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Edinburgh Zoo's oldest chimpanzee David dies at age 46

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According to zookeepers, he was a lively member of the chimp troop and had a big personality, even after he retired as the group’s alpha some years ago.

David fathered six babies in total, including Kilimi who still lives at the Budongo Trail.

Before David’s death, there were 15 chimanzees living at Edinburgh Zoo – the youngest of whom, Masindi, was born in February 2020.

In September, Edinburgh Zoo erected warning signs for visitors outside the entrance of their chimpanzee viewing areas after one of their chimps had a stillbirth.

The grieving chimpanzee was holding onto her baby ‘due to her strong maternal instincts’ in the Budongo Trail.

David Field, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland chief executive, said at the time: “Sadly one of our chimps recently had a stillborn baby which she is holding onto due to her strong maternal instincts.

The Budongo Trail is one of the world's most innovative and interactive chimpanzee enclosures.

The enclosure was specially designed to stimulate the chimps to use and show natural physical, social and mental behaviours that would be observed in the wild.

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