Colchester Zoo announces heartbreaking death of chimpanzee Tekita

Colchester Zoo has said a sad goodbye to its 24-year-old chimpanzee Tekita, who died after becoming unwell. Picture: DAVID...

Colchester Zoo has said a sad goodbye to its 24-year-old chimpanzee Tekita, who died after becoming unwell. Picture: DAVID MARSAY/COLCHESTER ZOO - Credit: Picture: DAVID MARSAY

Colchester Zoo has said a heartbreaking farewell to its “sensitive and sweet” chimpanzee Tekita, who has tragically died at the age of 24.

Colchester Zoo's chimpanzee Tekita has died at the age of 24. Picture: DAVID MARSAY/COLCHESTER ZOO

Colchester Zoo's chimpanzee Tekita has died at the age of 24. Picture: DAVID MARSAY/COLCHESTER ZOO - Credit: DAVID MARSAY/ COLCHESTER ZOO

Tekita was born at the zoo in 1996 to mum Tara, who remains at the enclosure today.

Tekita died on Tuesday, December 1, after being taken unwell.

Despite receiving medication, the chimpanzee was not showing any signs of improvement and was given a diagnostic health check to try and determine another form of treatment.

Unfortunately, exploratory surgery showed there would be no further treatment available to help Tekita, and zookeepers made the difficult decision to put the mum-of-two to sleep to prevent further suffering.


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Tekita leaves behind a great legacy as she was mother to both Tumba and Talia, the youngest chimpanzees within the group. Not only will her chimpanzee family miss Tekita but all the staff and visitors who grew to know Tekita over the years will also miss her large character.

Katherine, from the zoo’s primate team, said: “Tekita was sensitive and sweet, trusting of her keepers and enjoyed building relationships with them.

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“She was always fiercely protective of her children and an integral part of the heart of the chimpanzee family. Her loving, calm and collective nature will be sorely missed by her family and her keepers alike.”

Last year, Tekita’s mating partner Pippin, who was the father of Tumba and Talia, sadly died aged 33.

Pippin was put to sleep in September last year after a health check found a mass on his liver, along with other health problems.

He was put down after vets concluded his chronic health problems were too much for him to bear.

MORE: Beloved chimpanzee dies aged 33 at Colchester ZooThe veterinary team will be completing a full post-mortem examination to determine Tekita’s exact cause of death over the next few days.

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