Mysuru: Twentysix-year-old Mirella, which entertained millions of visitors to the Mysuru zoo for the past 25 years, died in its enclosure on Monday morning.
The exact cause of its death is not known. Experts were expected to conduct a post-mortem examination later during the day. There was an atmosphere of mourning in the zoo as the staff and caretakers felt like it was the loss of a family member.
Otherwise in good health, Mirella had refused to take any food on Sunday. On Monday morning, it was found dead. In all there were six chimps – Mirella, Guru, Ganga, Kimoni, Nikosi and Mohsin, out of which now only two will remain as survivors.
Samples of its organs have been sent to the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAH & VB), Hebbal, Bangalore
Commonly chimpanzees live up to an average of 50 years in natural environment. In the enclosure of zoos, they tne to live for 35 to 40 years. Mirella’s death at 26 has not only brought grief to the staff but baffled them as well.
Mirella had been brought from the Kolmarden wildlife park in Sweden when it was barely a year old. Five chimps had been brought from there in exchange for an elephant under an exchange programme in 1994.