Reason for Rocky zoo’s chimp and gibbon deaths revealed

February 3, 2023 9:21 am in by

The Rockhampton Zoo has received the post-mortem results for the deaths of two beloved zoo animals.

Holly the chimpanzee and Tuson the white-cheeked gibbon passed away late last year.

Results now show that Tuson had severe stomach ulcers which led to infection.

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Tuson was one of the newest additions to the Zoo.

Holly the Chimpanzee, who was being treated for a wounded finger, developed septicaemia.

Holly passed away on the December 7, at age 34, with Zoo staff by her side.

Parks, Sport and Public Spaces Councillor Cherie Rutherford says she knows that many people in the community have mourned the loss of both animals.

“After a long wait over the Christmas and New Year period, we’re relieved to have more information about their passing,” she says.

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“At the time of Holly’s passing she was being treated for a wound to her finger.

“She was being closely monitored by both keepers and vets, and was on antibiotics to fight infection.

“Despite the care she was receiving, the results of her post-mortem show that she developed septicaemia.

“Holly had been part of our chimpanzee troop at the Zoo for almost 11 years, and her sudden loss was absolutely heartbreaking.

“Not long after Holly’s passing we received another heartbreaking shock.

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“Tuson had only been with us a very short time when she started showing signs of illness, and our vet and keepers immediately sought advice from gibbon experts.

“She received medical attention for two weeks prior to passing and fulltime vet care for the days prior, however despite the best possible care she passed on the 14th of December 2022.

“Her results show she had severe stomach ulcers which led to infection.

“Tuson was a quiet, gentle girl who made a real impact in the short time she was here, and she is missed by her cousin Nakai.

“Despite no evident contagious infections, Nakai has been tested as a precaution. He is showing no sign of ill health and is doing well.

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“The past few months have been difficult for our Zoo family and whilst we’ll continue to hold onto the memories of our beloved animals, we’re now able to move forwards with the best possible current information, thanks to the incredible vets who continue to work with us.

“We can also confirm that the two deaths were unrelated, although the close timing has made the blow that much harder for our staff.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to once again send my condolences to the Zoo staff and thank our community for their support surrounding the huge loss of Holly and Tuson.”


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