Chimp dies after 35 years as alpha female in N. Carolina zoo

  • This undated image shows Maggie the chimpanzee who lived at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, N.C. Zoo officials say the 46-year-old chimpanzee has died after 35 years as the dominant female of her group. In a news release, Maggie was humanely euthanized on Friday, April 12, 2019, after health issues including an infection and lung problems. (Jodi Wiley/North Carolina Zoo via AP)

ASHEBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina Zoo says a 46-year-old chimpanzee has died after 35 years as the dominant female of her group.

Zoo officials said in a news release that the chimp named Maggie was humanely euthanized on Friday after health issues including an infection and lung problems. Zookeepers noted she had already lived longer than most female chimpanzees, who typically live to around age 40.

Maggie was the last member of the original troop of chimps established at the zoo in 1980. She had come to North Carolina from a zoo in Virginia.

As the alpha female, Maggie built relationships and served as a leader to younger chimps.

The zoo says it now has 15 chimpanzees in its troop. Chimps are considered endangered in the wild.

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