Jackson Zoo's Gibbon 'Cookie Man' dies - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson Zoo's Gibbon 'Cookie Man' dies

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Sad news from the Jackson Zoo.

Their male white-handed gibbon, "Cookie Man," has died of degenerative heart disease.

He was 37-years-old and died on June 12th.

He was very special to zoo, and its directors. He was born 22 Dec 1977 and was hand raised by the then Zoo Director's wife, Esther Swigert, after his mother failed to care for him.  

"Cookie Man" got his name from the stuffed animal he loved to cling too, Cookie Monster of Sesame Street.   

He was also the sire of the current young gibbon, "Jari". Like her dad, "Jari" is also being hand raised, and is now seven months old.  

"I remember when I started working at the zoo's animal hospital in 1978; "Cookie Man" was already being raised at the Swigert's house and of course I adored that little blonde baby gibbon immediately! " says veterinary technician Donna Todd.  "It was not long afterwards that Esther began including me in his daily care. So you can imagine how thrilled we were last November when "Cookie" and his mate, "Mia", had their own little baby gibbon."  

 The adult pair of gibbons were off display while renovations are being made to their exhibit; along with work on the Fishing cat exhibit and Amur leopard exhibit.  

The $690,000 project started in May of 2013 and should be complete by September of this year.  The Fishing cats are also off display, while the Amur leopards are in a temporary display area in another part of the Zoo.   

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