Des Moines Bonobo Passes Away

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Bonobo, Matata (Image courtesy: Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary)

Bonobo, Matata (image courtesy: Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary)

One of the country’s oldest bonobos in captivity has died.

Matata died Sunday at the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary formerly known as the Great Ape Trust.

She was born in the Congo and had lived in captivity since 1975.

“Matata was her usual self for most of the day Saturday,” veterinarian Julie Gilmore said in a statement. “She was foraging around the sanctuary, interacting with her fellow bonobos. So, while her death comes as a shock, due to her advanced age, it certainly is not a surprise that she would pass away in this manner. Matata lived a long and healthy life.”

Matata was believed to be in her mid- to late-40s and gave birth to two other bonobos. She moved to Des Moines in 2005.

Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will determine the cause of death.

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