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Beloved North Carolina Zoo Chimp Passes Away

Posted on 02/18/16
Beloved North Carolina Zoo Chimp Passes Away Terry was one of the original chimps to open the exhibit, coming to the North Carolina Zoo in 1980. Photo by North Carolina Zoo staff

ASHEBORO, NC – With great sadness, the North Carolina Zoo announces the death of Terry, a 47 year old chimpanzee, after a period of declining health. Terry was the oldest of the zoo’s chimps. Known for her lean build, big ears and playful nature, Terry was one of the original chimps to open the exhibit, coming to the North Carolina Zoo in 1980. Forty-seven is considered elderly among the species and Terry passed away peacefully in her sleep. A necropsy (an animal autopsy) is being performed, as with all animal deaths at the zoo.

According to Jennifer Ireland, Curator of Mammals, “For 36 years Terry has played an integral role in the North Carolina Zoo’s chimp troops, whether in the role of a high ranking female who’s support was important for the males, friend to Ham the “space chimp” or surrogate mother to Nori, an infant who needed to be hand-raised. Many remember that when Nori was introduced to the adults in the troop, it was Terry who stepped in to take on the maternal role. This was special for both Nori and Terry as Terry had never had any offspring of her own.”

Terry was also a very playful chimp. Keepers would frequently see Terry following around other chimps grabbing their feet in an attempt to get them to play with her. Terry had a big personality and was very engaging, making her a favorite amongst those who cared for her and zoo guests alike.

Memorials for Terry should be sent in care of:  NC Zoo Society, 4403 Zoo Parkway, Asheboro, NC  27205 or by calling 336.879.7250. 

About the North Carolina Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo provides an experience like no other zoo anywhere. With five miles of exhibits, nearly 2,000 animals and 52,000 plants it is the largest natural habitat zoo in the world and an international leader in wildlife conservation.

Find yourself surrounded by some of Africa’s giants including elephants, rhinos, and giraffes; share the love of gorillas with Mosuba and his six-member troop; welcome polar bear Nikita as he joins Anana in polar plunges every day at their Rocky Coast Exhibit; or join in the fun at the mud café in the Kidzone.

Located in center of the state in Asheboro, it is convenient to visit from anywhere in North Carolina. The North Carolina Zoo welcomes nearly 750,000 guests each year. Plan your adventure at www.nczoo.org.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C.  Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

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About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 

The North Carolina Zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C.  Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

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