Chimpanzee Birthday

Lincoln Park Zoo Chimps Celebrate Milestone Birthdays  

Oldest male chimpanzee in the US turns 55

(Chicago – June 27, 2013)  Two Lincoln Park Zoo chimpanzees celebrated milestone birthdays with veggie-and-fruit-filled birthday “cakes” on Thursday. Keo, the oldest male chimpanzee in an accredited zoo, celebrated 55 years, while his troop mate Vicky had her own golden birthday of 50 years.

The senior apes enjoyed 750-pound ice cakes packed with nutritious treats like carrots, kale, and strawberries courtesy of Nadeau Ice Sculptures.

The mood was festive, and the real excitement came when one of the cakes was toppled to reveal the bounty within. Vicky and her 33-year-old daughter, Kibali, used sticks found in their yard to break into the cake and target their favorite goodies.

“These significant birthdays are testaments to the advances in geriatric care at zoos and aquariums,” said Lincoln Park Zoo Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “We are able to provide seniors like Keo and Vicky with the lifetime care they need and deserve. And judging by today, their golden years here in Chicago are going pretty well!”

To put the birthdays into perspective, the median life expectancy for a male chimpanzee is 31.7 years and 38.7 years for a female. If Keo and Vicky’s ages were to be converted to human years, both animals would be in their 90s.

Both chimpanzees celebrated on the same day, although the exact days they were born are unknown. Both chimps were born in Africa and have lived at Lincoln Park Zoo for most of their lives.

Media Contacts:       

Sharon Dewar                     

(312) 742-2246              

Tiffany Ruddle
(312) 742-5791


Lincoln Park Zoo, a historic Chicago landmark founded in 1868, is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience. A leader in conservation science both globally and locally, the zoo exemplifies the highest quality animal care and educational outreach. The not-for-profit zoo, managed by The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, is a member-supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos. For more information, call 312 -742-2000 or visit


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Photos and Video credited to Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo June 27, 2013