Celebration turned to sorrow over the weekend at Chimp Haven as one of the chimpanzee residents has died.
Darrell, a 28-year-old male, died at approximately 3:30 p.m. Friday, according to a press released posted Saturday on the Chimp Haven Web site.
No cause of death was pinpointed upon initial examination. More detailed medical evaluation is pending.
Darrell had been a resident of the chimpanzee sanctuary since November 2006. He and six other chimpanzees had been transferred from a Texas facility.
“The staff is joined in their sorrow by many individuals whose lives were touched by Darrell. He was well-loved by humans as well as by his fellow chimpanzees. He will be missed by all,” the release states.
Thursday morning, a party atmosphere prevailed at Chimp Haven as the staff donned party hats and watched a group of chimpanzees take advantage of the gift-wrapped treats placed in their enclosure to mark the first birthday of Tracy. Tracy, who will be one Tuesday, drew national attention last year as the mystery of her father was unknown for months. Cell, hair and DNA testing finally revealed the father as Conan, who later underwent a second, and this time successful, vasectomy. Tracy’s mother is Teresa.