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In a statement, Zoo Atlanta said that at 39, Chantek was one of the oldest male orangutans in North American zoos. His cause of death was not yet known, it said, but vets had been treating him for progressive heart disease. Orangutans are considered geriatric after the age of about 35, the zoo added.
Chantek was born at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Georgia and was sent to live with anthropologist Lyn Miles at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
In the 21st century isn't it time we acknowledged our primate cousins as non-human people and gave them some of the rights we assign to ourselves