Staff at the Riverside Discovery Center have announced that their longtime chimpanzee Sarah passed away this week in her sleep at the age of 49.
Zoo Director Anthony Mason says Sarah has been a Scottsbluff favorite for more than 25 years, and cause of death is believed to be from complications from heart disease. He says that Sarah was considered an older primate, with the average chimpanzee living 40 to 45 years.
“Sarah was a very smart and sassy chimp that I had the honor of caring for, and will miss her greatly,” says Head Keeper Nancee Hutchinson. “She was already the brains of the operation around the chimp building and Scooter was the brawn.”
Mason says the zoo is working with the AZA through the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan to bring a group of chimps from another facility to Scottsbluff. He adds that this is a long process, and asks for public patience.