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APE DEATH: Great Ape Trust Mourns Death

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Money problems and layoffs have plagued the Great Ape Trust over the past year, and now the facility is dealing with most devastating loss yet.

Tuesday night, the trust lost one of its seven bonobos.  It is the fourth death at the facility since its opening in 2004.

Workers say Panbanisha died Tuesday night of a cold.  The trust’s six remaining bonobos are being treated for the same illness.

Panbanisha was the most advanced of all the bonobos at the facility and was able to communicate using symbols.  The death comes as the great ape trust is struggling to stay open.

Last year the facility’s founder Ted Townsend pulled funding forcing workers to seek donations from the public.

Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, the top scientist at the facility, was also investigated earlier this year after co-workers accused her of endangering the animals living there.