The cause of his death has not been determined, but he had recently been ill and old age probably contributed to his death, the zoo said in a press release. Tanya M. Peterson, general manager of the San Francisco Zoological Society, described him as a charismatic and compassionate leader of the zoo’s pack of chimpanzees. “Cobby loved to rest on different platforms, snacking on his favorite foods, and even when he was old, he would climb up to chat with his beloved girlfriend Minnie,” Peterson notes.
Once an artistic animal, Cobby was raised by humans and brought to the zoo in the mid-1960s. The average lifespan of wild chimpanzees is 33 years, and 50 to 60 years under human care. Hunting, habitat loss, and disease have made monkeys in Africa endangered primates.