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Chimpanzee dies at Saint Louis Zoo

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By Catherine Wolf/Rachel Lippmann, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Primate keepers at the St. Louis Zoo are mourning the death of one of the most easily recognized animals at the Jungle of the Apes.

Cinder, a 14-year-old chimpanzee died suddenly on Sunday afternoon. She was easily spotted for her lack of hair, which she lost shortly after birth because of an auto-immune disease.

St. Louis Zoo primate curator Ingrid Porton says keepers did not notice anything amiss when they went to give the chimps a snack on Sunday afternoon.

"Cinder ran up as she does when she enthusiastically greets you. She hooted at 'em, and she pushed out her little naked belly for tickles, and she ate well. She was perfectly normal," Porton said.

A necropsy did not find an immediate cause of death, Porton said, "but we do know it wasn't trauma, so it wasn't due to a fall, or due to any kind of an injury." Blood and tissue samples and bacteria cultures have been sent for testing.

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