Bill the Chimp, Sequoia Park Zoo's most well-known resident, died late Tuesday night after a long illness, zoo officials said. He was 62.
Zoo manager Gretchen Ziegler had been saying for several days that Bill wasn't expected to live. He suffered from a lung infection. She said they made him as comfortable as possible.
According to a press release, Bill was euthanised at 6:56 p.m.
”We're not going to let him suffer needlessly,” Kelley-Day said early in the day.
Bill had been sleeping or resting most of Tuesday, Ziegler said, in between visits from veterinarian Jeff Kelley-Day who has been overseeing his medical care.
Due to pain medication and a semi-comatose state, Bill wasn't in pain, Kelley-Day said.
The chimpanzee, who would have celebrated his 50th year at the Sequoia Park Zoo come July, had been under near round-the-clock observation. Ziegler said staff had been present late into the night and returned early in the morning.
An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of his symptoms, then his body will be shipped to University of California, Santa Cruz, for further study.
The zoo will reopen today. A memorial service is being planned.