The Center for Great Apes: In memory of our beloved chimpanzee Jonah – 1996-2022

Posted in 20/07/2022

Jonah (CGA)

The Center for Great Apes is heartbroken to share the sad news that our beloved chimpanzee Jonah has died.

Jonah has been under veterinary treatments for cardiac disease for the past four years after he had a sudden collapse in 2018 while playing with the females in his group. With the daily care, diagnostics, and treatments from our devoted team of veterinary staff and caregivers, Jonah received compassionate care to manage his heart condition and extend his life.

Jonah voluntarily participated in his daily assessments and exams by sitting quietly for stethoscope checks (even holding the end of the stethoscope over his heart if the staff could not reach it through the cage mesh). He also willingly participated in his the blood pressure checks as well as electrocardiogram and ultrasound exams given to help monitor his condition and adjust his treatment… always holding very still while his veterinary team checked his vitals. Even when taking his temperature, Jonah offered to helpfully push the button on the electronic thermometer.

Born at a safari park in Oklahoma in 1996, Jonah and his identical twin brother Jacob were sent to California to work in entertainment. Jonah appeared in many movies, television shows, and commercials… once starring with Mark Wahlberg in the remake of the Planet of the Apes movie.

When they were retired from show business at age 8, Jonah and Jacob arrived at the Center for Great Apes in 2004 just one week before Category 4 Hurricane Charley slammed the sanctuary. That was his introduction to Florida! However, over the past 18 years at our sanctuary, Jonah has had many chimpanzee companions and has lived a peaceful, happy, and enriched life.

Jonah was a truly outstanding chimpanzee and a very sweet male when interacting with the females in his group as well as with his team of caregivers. So many people loved Jonah, and all who knew him are grieving his loss.

Note: Young chimpanzees are commonly victims of heart problems, often unfortunately victimizing them. Many researches and studies in the area of diagnosis, prevention and treatment are carried out by specialists in veterinary medicine of great apes. A reference project is the Great Ape Heart Project –