19-year-old chimpanzee euthanized at St. Louis Zoo - KMOV.com

19-year-old chimpanzee euthanized at St. Louis Zoo

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Holly,19-year-old chimpanzee, dies at St. Louis Zoo Holly,19-year-old chimpanzee, dies at St. Louis Zoo

KMOV.COM - The St. Louis Zoo euthanized Holly, a chimpanzee battling advanced liver cancer.

On Wednesday, veterinarians attempted to remove the tumors. When they realized that the tumors were inoperable, the animal care staff made the decision that "euthanasia was the most humane course of action while Holly was under anesthesia for the surgery."

“The animal care staff and all those who knew and loved Holly are grieving her loss,” says Heidi Hellmuth, Curator of Primates at the Saint Louis Zoo.

“Our dedicated and experienced animal keeper and veterinary teams gave her the best care, and she gave us a unique and fun personality. She lived a great life surrounded by her chimpanzee and human families. She will be missed.”

“Advanced cancers of the liver have affected the lives of many humans and their families, and it is no surprise that one of our closest living species can be similarly affected by these devastating and aggressive types of cancer,” says Luis Padilla, DVM, DACZM, Director of Animal Health at the Saint Louis Zoo.


Holly was born on March 30, 1998, at the Montgomery Zoo in Alabama, but Holly’s mother was not able to care for her. 

Through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, Holly and Bakhari, a chimpanzee infant from the North Carolina Zoo in a similar situation, were transferred to the Saint Louis Zoo when they were just a few months old. 

The chimpanzee infants were cared for by a team of Zoo staff and a few docents at Jungle of the Apes. Through careful introductions, the pair was integrated into the chimpanzee troop.

Although Holly did not have any offspring, there are eight chimpanzees at the Zoo’s Jungle of the Apes and Donn & Marilyn Lipton Fragile Forest.

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