SYDNEY: One of the world’s oldest chimps, the matriarch of the 18 chimpanzees at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo here, is dead.

Fifi celebrated her 60th birthday in May with sugar-free cupcakes and coconuts among four generations of her family. Fifi, who suffered arthritis and had taken to sipping from a cup of chamomile tea each morning in her later years, stayed in bed on Thursday morning, raising suspicions among the keepers that she was unwell. Keepers provided her with favourite foods, while other chimps visited her. She died peacefully in the afternoon.

Chimps, who share 98 per cent of humans’ DNA and are our closest living relatives in nature, have an average life expectancy of about 45 years, but can live longer in captivity because of the care they get. — AP