The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) today announced the demise of their oldest alpha chimpanzee.
In a statement released by UWEC, Executive Director James Musinguzi said:
“With deep sorrow and grief, UWEC (Uganda Wildlife Education Centre) hereby announces the death of Zakayo, a 54-year old male chimpanzee, who has lived at UWEC for 42 years. Preliminary findings suggest that he succumbed to Chronic Gastroenteritis. Due to his old age, he was highly susceptible to opportunistic infections. Please join us as we celebrate the life of this legendary chimpanzee who once lived as a dominant male and brought up the chimpanzee family at UWEC. He nurtured two alpha male chimpanzees, Matooke, who led the group up to 2013, and Aluma, who took over in 2013 up to today. May his soul rest in peace.”
Commiserations have continued to come from several Ugandans both locally and in the diaspora from as far as Canada, the US, UK, and Germany, many of whom have celebrated and shared Zakayo’s birthday cake since their childhood days.
Zakayo was perhaps the primates’ Picasso having accomplished works of art that sold for up to $25 a piece, towards the cause of saving the chimpanzees in the wild and at the Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Institute on Ngamba island located on Lake Victoria. “I have a painting by Zakayo in my office,” said Kelly Mac Tavisch Mungar, a local tour outfit based in Kampala.
“Join us for a vigil tomorrow, Friday, April 27, 2018, at UWEC Beach starting at 6 pm. Burial will be on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at 2 pm,” announced Musinguzi.