The last surviving Chimpanzee in the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) Zoo has died at the age of 50, Concise News understands.
The announcement was made by the Head of Department, Zoology and Environmental studies, Prof Chris Okoye while speaking with newsmen in Nsukka on Wednesday.
According to Okoye, the male Chimpanzee which died two weeks ago had been embalmed.
He said: “As the tradition of the department, the chimpanzee has been embalmed and deposited in the department’s Museum for practical and for people on an excursion to the museum to see. We do not eat or bury animals in our zoo when they die, rather we embalm and keep them in the museum,” he said.
The HOD said the female chimpanzee, usually referred to as the wife of this chimpanzee, died five years ago and since then the male chimpanzee had been lonely.
“Efforts to replace the female chimpanzee as well as some other animals that died in the zoo hit ‘brick-wall’ due to lack of fund,” he said.
“It costs a huge amount of money to buy animals like chimpanzees, lions, and elephants as well as to feed them.”
“Zoos play important roles in wildlife conservation, research, and education.”
“Both federal and state governments should do something urgently to improve funding of zoos in the country else, in the next 10 years, zoos may completely go into extinction,” he said.