Little Mama, the oldest living chimpanzee on record, passed away Tuesday at Lion Country Safari, the park said. She was in her late 70s.
The chimp, a favorite of the safari park’s staff and visitors, died surrounded by her family group of eight other chimpanzees and some of the park’s employees. The park’s veterinarians believe the cause of her death was kidney failure. A necropsy will be performed. Little Mama was born in Africa around 1938 and came to Lion Country Safari in 1967 after spending time as a pet and possibly as a performer in the Ice Capades. Jane Goodall, the renowned primatologist, spent time with Little Mama in 1972 and estimated her age.
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