Zoo Knoxville bids farewell to Bo

Tina RolenEast Knox, Our Town Outdoors

Just one week after announcing the birth of a new chimpanzee, Zoo Knoxville is saddened to announce the death of another. Bo, a 37-year-old female chimpanzee, went into cardiac failure on Saturday, April 30, and could not be revived despite the exhaustive efforts of the team from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

Bo came to Zoo Knoxville in 2008 with her companion Binti from the Cleveland Zoo. Her outgoing social nature and loyalty made her an influential member of the chimpanzee troop. The troop was given time to mourn the loss of Bo before her body was taken to UTCVM for necropsy, and the Great Apes Team will continue to support them as they adjust to the loss.

Bo chimpanzee

“It has been a very emotional week for the chimpanzee troop and their caregivers,” said Lisa New, president and CEO of Zoo Knoxville. “We experienced the joy of Binti giving birth to Stevie on April 22 and now we are mourning the loss of Bo, one of our troop’s beloved matriarchs. Although we deal with the circle of life daily in our profession, it doesn’t lessen the sadness of the loss. We are appreciative of all the support and kindness from our community, and know she was beloved by our guests, too.”

Chimpanzees are an endangered species and being driven to extinction by habitat loss, disease and their biggest threat, illegal poaching. Zoo Knoxville is working in partnership with 32 other zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to ensure a healthy population remains in our care as hope for the future.

For more info on becoming a member at Zoo Knoxville, go here.

Tina Rolen is director of marketing and communications at Zoo Knoxville.

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