WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The baby chimpanzee that brought worldwide attention to the Sedgwick County Zoo has died.
“Friends, our hearts are broken today. It is with the greatest sadness that we have to announce the sudden and unexpected passing of Kucheza, 5-week-old Chimpanzee,” reads the Facebook post.
The mother, Mahale, has not been able to part with him yet, so zoo workers have not been able to do a full medical assessment to determine why the baby died.
The mother and baby became viral sensations because of the way Mahale reacted after being reunited with Kucheza after a C-section delivery.
The zoo said the video has been seen by billions of people around the world.
“In his few short weeks of life, Kucheza brought joy and light to so many, and sparked an opportunity to educate the world about chimpanzees, the dangers they face in the wild, and most importantly – why we should care,” reads the Facebook post.
The zoo said that they will “continue to share these messages and inspire respect and conservation for Kucheza’s wild counterparts in his honor.”
The zoo has set up a link where people can donate to chimpanzee conservation in Kucheza’s honor. Click here to donate.