St. Louis (KMOV) – A well known and beloved chimpanzee at the St. Louis Zoo was euthanized on Wednesday after becoming too ill.
Smoke, 43, was humanely euthanized after the zoo’s veterinary staff found that he was suffering inflammation and infection in his abdomen that invaded other parts of the body.
Smoke came to the St. Louis to raise a family with his mate, Molly, from the Philadelphia Zoo in January 1994. The Zoo staff described Smokey as a gentle, silly, and fun-loving soul.
Smoke and Molly were brought to St. Louis to be foster parents to young chimps Hugo, Jimmy, and Mlinzi. Eventually, the two parents allowed their family to grow to nine as they gave birth to daughter, Candice, and took in chimps Holly, Bakhari, and Tammy.
After Molly passed away in 2004, the zoo staff brought in a 37-year-old chimp, Rose. Smoke immediately took to Rose and the two of them continued to raise a happy family.
Ingrid Porton, curator of primates at the Zoo, explained that Smokey had a full and rewarding social life and made a significant impact at the Zoo.
“Smoke was a sweet and special individual from whom we learned so much,” added Porton. “He was integral to the development of the group we have today, and although he will be dearly missed, his impact and contributions remain as his legacy.”