Zoo chimp found dead

BALTIMORE - Maryland Zoo staff found a 21-year-old chimpanzee dead early Wednesday morning.

According to a press release issued by the zoo on Thursday, staff members found Renee in her night quarters early Wednesday morning.

Renee came to the zoo in 1995 with three other chimps.  All three are still living.

A veterinarian had just given Renee her bi-annual exam Tuesday.  A cause of death is pending a necropsy.

"I would describe her as a 'chimp's chimp'" says mammal collection and conservation manager Carey Ricciardone.  "Renee didn't care much for human interaction but could be very playful with zookeepers when she wanted to, on her terms.  She was very smart and watchful, and was a high-ranking female in the troop.  I know she will be fondly remembered by zoo staff, volunteers, and guests."

The Maryland Zoo has 10 remaining chimpanzees in the troop.

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