Rockhampton Zoo receives post-mortem results

Published on 02 February 2023

Holly and Gandali.jpg

The Rockhampton Zoo has received the post-mortem results for two beloved zoo animals who sadly passed away late last year; Holly the chimpanzee and Tuson the white-cheeked gibbon.

Parks, Sport and Public Spaces Councillor Cherie Rutherford said she knows that many people in the community have mourned the loss of both animals.

“After a long wait over the Christmas and New Year period, we’re relieved to have more information about their passing,” Cr Rutherford said.

“At the time of Holly’s passing she was being treated for a wound to her finger. She was being closely monitored by both keepers and vets, and was on antibiotics to fight infection.

“Despite the care she was receiving, the results of her post-mortem show that she developed septicaemia.

“She passed away on the 7th of December 2022 at age 34, with Zoo staff by her side.   

“Holly had been part of our chimpanzee troop at the Zoo for almost 11 years, and her sudden loss was absolutely heartbreaking. It has been bittersweet to watch the rest of the troop step in to take care of Holly’s young son Gandali.

“Not long after Holly’s passing we received another heartbreaking shock when Tuson, one of our newest additions to the Zoo, passed away.

“Tuson had only been with us a very short time when she started showing signs of illness, and our vet and keepers immediately sought advice from gibbon experts.

“She received medical attention for two weeks prior to passing and fulltime vet care for the days prior, however despite the best possible care she passed on the 14th of December 2022.

“Her results show she had severe stomach ulcers which led to infection.  

“Tuson was a quiet, gentle girl who made a real impact in the short time she was here, and she is missed by her cousin Nakai.

“Despite no evident contagious infections, Nakai has been tested as a precaution. He is showing no sign of ill health and is doing well.

“The past few months have been difficult for our Zoo family and whilst we’ll continue to hold onto the memories of our beloved animals, we’re now able to move forwards with the best possible current information, thanks to the incredible vets who continue to work with us.

“We can also confirm that the two deaths were unrelated, although the close timing has made the blow that much harder for our staff.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to once again send my condolences to the Zoo staff and thank our community for their support surrounding the huge loss of Holly and Tuson.”