WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The baby chimpanzee that brought worldwide attention to the Sedgwick County Zoo has died.
The zoo posted a message just before noon Thursday saying that 5-week old Kucheza was found dead, cradled in his mother’s arms Thursday morning.
The mother, Mahale, has not been able to part with him yet, so zoo workers have not been able to do a full medical assessment to determine why the baby died.
The mother and baby became viral sensations because of the way Mahale reacted after being reunited with Kucheza after a C-section delivery.
The zoo said the video has been seen by billions of people around the world.
“Friends, our hearts are broken today. It is with the greatest sadness that we have to announce the sudden and unexpected passing of Kucheza, 5-week-old Chimpanzee,” the zoo posted in a message on Facebook.
“In his few short weeks of life, Kucheza brought joy and light to so many, and sparked an opportunity to educate the world about chimpanzees, the dangers they face in the wild, and most importantly – why we should care.”