Friday 19 July 2019

Skopje zoo's chimp returns after recovering from depression

JULY 11, 2019
by Konstantin Testorides
Koko the chimpanzee, once a star in Skopje's zoo, has returned home after spending 10 years in the Netherlands recovering from depression, the zoo says.
Koko was reunited with his keeper, Dragan Trajkovski, on Thursday, who said he was overjoyed to see the chimp again.
"It was a joy I cannot describe," the 49-year-old told The Associated Press. "After 10 years, Koko recognized me. We touched each other, he turned his back for a little scratching and pursed his mouth in a chimp kiss."
Koko was born in the zoo of North Macedonia's capital Skopje in 1995. His mother died of tuberculosis two years later, and the young chimp began suffering from depression and loneliness. Trajkovski tried parenting him but for years his condition did not improve.
Eventually a Netherlands-based animal rescue group, Animal Advocacy and Protection, was contacted and Koko was transferred to their facilities in the Netherlands in 2009 to recover.
After 10 years at the AAP facility, Koko returned to Skopje along with three other chimpanzees who will be keeping him company: 57-year-old Mimmi, and Hiasl and Rosi, both 38. All three were treated by AAP after suffering years of mistreatment. Mimmi was once in a circus before ending up living in a drab enclosure in a garden center in Germany, AAP said.
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