The Uganda Wildlife Education Center has unveiled a sculpture in celebration of the life deceased famous chimp Zakayo.
The sculpture was unveiled by the Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities Hon. Col. (Rtd) Tom R. Butime at UWEC.
Hon. Butime who was on his maiden visit as Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities recognized Zakayo as a primate’s conservation ambassador in Uganda.
He further appreciated UWEC’s commitment to wildlife conservation education and encouraged the institute to breed species which are at risk of extinction in the wild.
Dr. James Musinguzi, UWEC Executive Director, said Zakayo was an icon and a great wild animal ambassador in the wild.
“He is a testimony of UWEC’s education and conservation programs. He attracted a lot of tourists to UWEC, but also Uganda at large. He was a respected elder, great father who protected the young chimpanzees and settled family conflicts. He is also credited for the strong family bond among chimpanzees at UWEC. It is, therefore, befitting for us to recognize the efforts and contribution to Uganda’s conservation”
Last year, UWEC established a Zakayo Legacy Day on 27 October, as a way to honor Uganda’s oldest known chimpanzee who was a beneficiary of Ex-situ conservation for 42 years at the model zoo.
Zakayo succumbed to chronic gastroenteritis (Stomach ulcers), a sickness that afflicted his intestines and brought his 55-years illustrious life to an end.