A chimpanzee at Hamilton Zoo passed away today after it was discovered she was suffering from serious heart problems.
The 46-year-old chimp called Fimi was anaesthetised and underwent an extensive veterinary examination, after suffering sudden paralysis of her right leg over the weekend. It was suspected the paralysis was linked to cardiac problems, with an ultrasound examination confirming chronic heart failure, with associated blood clots causing the paralysis of her leg and other complications.
Hamilton Zoo Director Stephen Standley said an ultrasound and ECG examination today showed advanced, un-survivable heart damage and the decision was made to put Fimi to sleep this afternoon.
“Fimi is a much loved member of the Hamilton Zoo family and she will be sorely missed by staff, visitors and other members of the chimpanzee troop, particularly her daughter Sanda,” he said.
The other chimpanzees were being given access to Fimi’s body this afternoon to allow them to spend time with her, recognise she has passed away and go through the natural grieving process.
The vet will carry out a full post mortem examination on Fimi before her body is cremated.
Fimi was born at Tierpark Hellabrunn in Munich, Germany, on 16 September 1965 and spent most of her life at Adelaide Zoo where she reared a son Tsotsi and daughter Sanda. In November 2008 Fimi and Sanda were transferred to Hamilton Zoo as part of the regionally managed breeding programme.