Zoo Knoxville Says Farewell to Binti, the Cherished Chimpanzee

Zoo Knoxville Says Farewell to Binti, the Cherished Chimpanzee

Zoo Knoxville Says Farewell to Binti, the Cherished Chimpanzee


A Beloved Member’s Departure

Zoo Knoxville is engulfed in grief following the decision to euthanize Binti, a cherished 38-year-old chimpanzee, due to severe health complications.

Earlier this week, zookeepers noticed a decline in Binti’s health, marked by her unusually pale appearance and lethargy.

Swiftly, a veterinary team was convened to assess her condition. Tragically, they discovered internal bleeding and a large mass on her liver, compelling them to transport Binti to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for further examination.

Diagnosis and Difficult Decisions

After conducting a CT scan, the veterinarians concluded that the mass was too large and invasive to remove. Further intervention was deemed unlikely to enhance Binti’s quality of life, leading to the difficult but necessary decision to humanely euthanize her.

The zoo confirmed, “She was surrounded by her human care team until the end.” Binti was returned to Zoo Knoxville, giving her fellow chimpanzees the opportunity to grieve before her body was taken back to UTCVM for necropsy.

The Great Apes care team will remain vigilant, monitoring and supporting the troop as they navigate their loss.

Remembering Binti: A Cherished Life

Binti relocated to Zoo Knoxville from the Cleveland Zoo in 2008 and made headlines in April 2022 when she gave birth to a lovely baby girl, Stevie.

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Regrettably, due to complications, Binti could not immediately care for Stevie post-birth. In response, the zookeepers facilitated a bond between baby Stevie and two surrogate mothers, Daisy and Jambo. They continue to nurture Stevie, who is growing and thriving.

Binti’s Legacy: A Community’s Grief and Gratitude

“We are all saddened by the loss of Binti,” remarked Phil Colclough, Director of Animal Care, Conservation, and Education at Zoo Knoxville.

“Her care team ensured she transitioned comfortably and with dignity because that is our commitment to the animals we are entrusted with.

It is still an incredibly difficult decision to make, and we are grateful for the kindness and support of our community who cared for her, too.”

Binti’s loss serves as a poignant reminder of the deep bonds formed between animals and their human caregivers, and the profound impact these relationships have on the communities that cherish them.

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