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Uganda’s oldest Chimpanzee Celebrates 44th birthday

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The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) Entebbe will this Friday host well-wishers to a lavish birthday party, probably not seen in the recent past.

It will not be the birthday party of any political or bureaucratic bigwigs, but Zakayo, the oldest chimpanzee at Uwec that will be turning 44.

“Zakayo the alpha male is one of our flagship animals at the centre. We will celebrate his birthday with a couple of activities,” Uwec said in a press statement sent to the media. Zakayo is said to be a favourite to visitors at the Centre.

He is a historical member of the centre whom we think deserves a celebrated birthday with the public,” the statement read.

Similar occasions organised in the past saw school children line up to witness the birthday celebration, participate in a quiz competition and question-answer session, organized by the Uganda Wildlife Education Center authorities on the occasion in a bid to spread the conservation message.

According to the record at the center, Zakayo was found in June 1972 at Semiliki in Bundibugyo and was hand-raised. The chimp was later surrendered to the Entebbe Zoo on June 10, 1976. The chimp is said to be very fatherly.

Zakayo has sired eight off springs and is very protective towards the younger chimps. He is always the last to go out in the mornings and the last to get inside in the evenings.”

UWEC continues to appeal to the public to continue supporting the centre.

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