Visitors frequenting the Mysore Zoo will no more get to watch the star attraction ‘Wali’, the 52-year-old male Chimpanzee.

Wali, the entertainer, died at the stroke of 12 midnight on Monday owing to old age. Today being holiday for Zoo, there was no rush of visitors.

At most every visitor to the Mysore Zoo made sure to record Wali’s acts in their cameras. Now, a pall of gloom has descended on the Mysore Zoo with its sudden death.

Wali was born to Meena and Max in the year 1962 at the Mysore Zoo. The specialty of this chimp is that it was born and brought up in City Zoo and breathed its last in the same Zoo.

Wali’s dance, the style in which he used to sit on the swings, play with the cap and cooling glasses were a part of the entertainment he used to deliver every day. He was also known as ‘Bheeshma’ among the Zoo fraternity.

Dr. Suresh Kumar, Zoo Veterinarian, said that compared to other animals in the Zoo, administering medicines to Wali was never a problem as he volunteered himself to take the medicines periodically. “Recently, he had wounds on his legs and on seeing it, I wanted to apply some medicines to which he obliged,” the Vet said.

Wali was also the favourite among the zoo keepers. The chimp was currently being looked after by Pandyan and his assistant Ramesh. Earlier, he was being looked after by Shankar. The trio opined that it was a big loss to Mysore Zoo which cannot be replaced.

A press release from the Zoo Executive Director B.P. Ravi this morning said that Wali had stopped intake of food and remained dull since a few days.

“The animal led its life in captivity and the death may be due to senility. The exact cause of the death will be made known after conducting post-mortem. In the wild chimpanzees live for 35 to 40 years,” said Ravi.

There were two younger brothers of Wali, namely ‘Kapil’ and ‘Sugreev.’ Kapil was born on the day of victory of the World Cup by Indian cricket team led by captain Kapil Dev on 25th June, 1983; hence the chimp was named as Kapil. Later, Kapil was sent to Baroda Zoo on animal exchange and it is learnt he died some 15 years back. Sugreeva died in the Zoo due to gastroenteritis in 1985.

Now the Mysore Zoo is left with chimps Guru, Ganga, Mirella and Mason. Two males and one female chimp are expected to join them from Singapore Zoological Gardens.

When Vijayranjan Singh was the Zoo Director, the chimps were subjected to musical therapy by Dr. Anil Sangli and Sripad.

Speaking to SOM, Dr. Sangli said that initially Wali was very mischievous but later mellowed down after undergoing therapy.

Last rites of Wali will be held at a vacant site behind the animal enclosures next to Zoo nursery.

Ambi’s favourite

Wali was not only famous among the visitors, but was a pet of cine actor and Housing Minister Ambarish.

When Ambarish was shooting at the Zoo for the movie ‘Mrugalaya’ he used to spend a lot of time with Wali though he shot most of the scenes with Kapil.

It is said, Ambarish never missed an opportunity to visit Wali whenever he was in Mysore. Sources said that Ambarish might visit the Zoo to get a last glimpse of Wali today.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore