Gogo was one of the 46 chimps being retired from the Baxter lab in Austria. He even made the move to the wonderful new primate establishment, H.O.P.E (Home of Primates Europe) in the middle of a forest in north east Austria. He died before even enjoying the relative freedom of the indoor living area that I had helped constuct for him.
I first met Gogo inside the lab where he, years before, had been infected with the hepititis C virus. He was the first of the 46 chimps to offer me a kiss. Being very selective about which carers he liked and didn’t like, I felt tremendously flattered that I counted amongst those that he was fond of. I, in turn, was extremely fond of him, and we shared much time together.
Gogo became ill in the early winter of 2002. He lost all his energy and often had fever. He trembled when he moved and was obviously experiencing alot of pain. The vets from the University of Vienna were mystified and ran all possible tests on him. At one point it was thought that he may have had a slipped disk.
The move out of the lab was stressful for Gogo. He had his friend and cell mate Carmen with him who was extremely protective towards him. Gogo died in his sleeping room at 7pm on January 17th 2003. His post-mortem revealed that he had suffered from Osteomyelitis in his spine.
Our exciting retirement project continues, but with a very important person missing.