Coco the chimp dies at the Oregon Zoo - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Coco the chimp dies at the Oregon Zoo

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Coco the chimpanzee, the oldest animal at the Oregon Zoo, died Friday.

Zoo staff decided to euthanize Coco, who they described as one of the zoo's most beloved long-term residents. The chimp was around 60 years old.

"Coco was quite elderly for a chimp," said curator Jennifer Davis, who oversees the zoo's primate area . "Unfortunately, she suffered a debilitating health setback earlier in the week and her quality of life had diminished to the point where euthanizing her was the most humane option."

Coco had been the second-oldest chimp in the entire U.S. zoo population. The median life expectancy for a female chimp is 38 years old.

Zoo staff said Coco's actual date of birth is unknown. She was born in the wild around 1952, came to the United States through the pet trade, which was legal at the time, and was donated to the zoo by her owner in 1961.

Just a few hours before saying goodbye to Coco, the Zoo welcomed a new baby elephant as Asian elephant Rose-Tu gave birth to a 300-pound baby calf.

Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved.

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