ibusinesslines.com July 16, 2018

Atlanta Zoo's sign language orangutan, Chantek, dies at 39

09 August 2017, 01:41 | Melissa Porter



His story was immortalised in the 2014 documentary, The Ape Who Went to College, which told how he had been taught to communicate with American Sign Language by his "foster mother" anthropologist Lyn Miles. Although his cause of death is not yet known, the Zoo's Animal Care and Veterinary Teams had been treating Chantek with a regimen of advanced medical therapy targeted at mitigating his progressive heart disease.

According to the zoo, Chantek "frequently used sign language to communicate with the staff, with whom he had developed strong ties'".

Chantek's rise to worldwide fame came nine months after his birth at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Georgia, when he was transferred to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to live with Dr Miles.

Chantek the orangutan was taught by a trainer, who raised him like her own child, and was recently being treated for heart disease, the zoo said in a statement. However, the zoo said he was shy of talking to people he wasn't familiar with and instead would use more traditional ape-like ways of communicating, such as gestures and vocalisations.

"We at the zoo will miss him".

He learned how to clean his room and memorize the way to a Dairy Queen restaurant.

A year ago he was put on a medical regimen because of heart disase, a leading cause of death among captive great apes. Zoo Atlanta became Chantek's permanent home in 1997.

Chantek, a Bornean/Sumatran-hybrid orangutan, has died at age 39. Chantek's case was regularly reviewed by Great Ape Heart Project subject matter experts, including human cardiologists, from around the U.S. These partnerships and the insights gained as part of the close monitoring of his heart health will enable Chantek to continue to make lasting contributions to the care and health of orangutans and other apes living in zoos throughout North America and beyond.

Chantek was among a special group of apes who knew ASL, including Koko, the gorilla, and Washoe, the chimpanzee. The two species are facing sharp drops in numbers because of habitat loss, timber cutting and human encroachment, the zoo said.

Other News

Trending Now

CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) Advances 1.10% Pre-Market
Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Douglass Winthrop Advisors Llc increased Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) stake by 4,617 shares to 506,301 valued at $58.64M in 2016Q4.

Tottenham handed huge blow ahead of season opener against Newcastle
The 26-year-old England worldwide was later seen holding crutches while wearing a protective boot. Kieran Trippier of Spurs goes off injured during the pre-season match against Juventus .

US Judge Sets $30000 Bail for UK Hacker Who Helped Stop WannaCry
Friends and family were not able to raise the bond money, however, so he will not be released until Monday at the earliest. Lobo said Hutchins claims he was not the author of the malware and that he would plead not guilty to all of the charges.

Turkey warns new military moves in Syria imminent
He added that the sixth round of a higher-level trilateral meeting will also be convened in the last week of August. Turkey has begun building a wall along the country's frontier with Iran , Turkish media reported on Tuesday.

Airbnb deletes accounts of people attending white supremacist rally
AirBnB is doing what most tech companies won't, fight back against white supremacists. We asked all members of the Airbnb to affirmatively sign on to this commitment.

President Trump, officials to discuss opioid epidemic Tuesday
President Trump gets a briefing on the opioid crisis today from Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price. So far, the White House has given no indication Trump will adopt the panel's recommendations.

Mama June's Daughter 'Pumpkin' Is Pregnant With Her First Child
She is really nervous about the idea of actually giving birth. "I think Mama will be an all right grandma", Pumpkin said. Her oldest sister Anna, 22, had her first daughter Kaitlyn at 17, while Mama June , 37, welcomed Anna at just 15.