This orangutan called Toto has died just a few weeks before his 30th birthday at a zoo in Mexico after a period of depression.
The sad death took place at Chapultepec Zoo, which is located in Mexico City, the capital of Mexico.
The loss was revealed via the official Twitter account of the Secretary of the Environment for the city of Mexico City (SEDEMA CDMX)on Thursday 9th December.
The SEDEMA said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “Toto was one of the most beloved ambassadors of wildlife conservation and for almost three decades he accompanied the efforts of the city’s zoos, which work for the conservation of threatened or endangered species, such as orangutans, which have an average life span of 30 to 45 years.”
Toto had lived at the Chapultepec Zoo in the city since he was born on 26th December, 1991.
The zoo explained that Toto “was a hybrid orangutan”, whose parents Lisa and Woody were also hybrids, coming from mothers whose species of orangutan was from the Island of Borneo and from fathers from a species of orangutan from the Island of Sumatra.
The zoo said that the vets had noticed on 6th December that Toto’s appetite had decreased.
They treated him for gastrointestinal disorders but the following day he was still not hungry and appeared to be suffering from abdominal pain. Samples were sent off for analysis and the following day, the orangutan began eating again.
He remained “under permanent observation and medical treatment” but he reportedly became “extremely depressed” and despite the best efforts of the medical team, Toto sadly passed away, according to the zoo.
The zoo is currently studying various biological samples in a bid to determine the cause of death.
The zoo said that it had raised Toto “artificially”.
His mum had not produced milk for her young and therefore Toto was fed from a bottle and he spent the first seven years of his life in direct contact with humans.
The zoo said: “His learning, recognition of his surroundings and experiences resulted in what is known as an ‘imprinting’ with the human being and not with his own species.”
Toto lived in an enclosure that had been recently remodeled, with access to three different spaces to choose from including “a naturalistic shelter, a garden and a day house.”
The zoo said that Toto often preferred to use the day house, especially in poor weather.
The zoo is inviting people to share their thoughts and messages with them on social media to “remember and honour one of the most beloved inhabitants of the Chapultepec Zoo”.