‘Our hearts are broken’: Cobby, the oldest male living chimpanzee in US zoo dies at 63

The oldest living male chimpanzee in an accredited U.S. zoo has died at 63.

The chimpanzee, Cobby, died on Saturday at the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens. 

“Cobby was part of San Francisco,” San Francisco Zoological Society Executive Director Tanya M. Peterson said in a statement to the AP. 

The cause of death is unknown, but zoo officials said Cobby had been sick and believe old age was a factor. Chimpanzees are expected to live 33 years in the wild and between 50 to 60 years under human care, the zoo told the AP.

Cobby arrived at the San Francisco Zoo in the 1960s after being a performer and cared for by a person until he was fully grown. He enjoyed snacking on his favorite foods, interacting with his keepers and was the protective companion to chimpanzee’s Minnie and Maggie, the San Francisco Zoo said in a Facebook post. 

“He touched so many lives, and people have so many memories of him. He is irreplaceable, and our hearts are broken. We will all miss seeing his handsome grey beard watching over us from the top platform of the yard,” Peterson said. 

All chimpanzees were put on the endangered species list in 2015 due to habitat loss, poaching and disease. Wild populations were added to the list in 1990. 

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