It is with great sadness and a profound sense of loss that the Houston Zoo announces the passing of Mac, one of our beloved chimpanzees.

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On Tuesday, May 13, Mac and 2 members of the Houston Zoo’s chimpanzee family were sedated for their regularly scheduled veterinary medical examinations. The sedation and the exams proceeded normally. However, when the Zoo’s veterinary team began to reverse Mac’s sedation, he did not immediately respond. The veterinary team immediately administered aggressive supportive therapy including oxygen support, antibiotics, and analgesics (pain medication). An analysis of an MRI scan by experts in human neurological medicine revealed that despite the supportive care provided following the sedation reversal, Mac’s neurological functions were compromised and irreversible. Mac was humanely euthanized.

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Mac has lived at the chimpanzee habitat in the Houston Zoo’s African Forest since he arrived in July 2010 with 9 members of his extended chimpanzee family. Mac settled in to his new home, his family and his keepers saw him emerge as a leader of the troop. The Houston Zoo’s chimpanzee keepers will closely observe the family’s behavior over the coming days and weeks and provide supportive care for Mac’s family. The Houston Zoo is providing grief counseling during this time as Mac’s keepers mourn the loss of a respected and beloved member of their animal family.

Please join us in extending our deepest condolences to the members of the veterinary medical team and the primate keepers who loved and cared for Mac during his time with us.

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