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Elderly people, ‘feisty’ white-cheeked Gibbon dies in the Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Muneca, a 51-year-old white-cheeked gibbon, was humanely killed at the Smithsonian National Zoo last week

(Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

Employees and animal lovers at the Smithsonian National Zoo are mourning the loss of Muneca, a white-cheeked gibbon, who was killed on Friday.

The beloved primate was 51 years, and suffering from declining health, according to Smithsonian officials.

The median life expectancy for the species is about 30 years and Muneca was the oldest of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, according to a statement from the museum.

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Zookeepers noticed that Muneca, who was born in Cambodia and came to the Smithsonian from the Maryland Zoo in 1999, was having problems with mobility, and loss of appetite.

19 years, she was an ambassador for her species, educating visitors, and Smithsonian employees about the behavior of white-cheeked gibbons.

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According to the Smithsonian, workers in the zoo called Muneca the “spicy personality” that made her a favorite among the animal care staff.

Muneca would allegedly perch on a raised platform in her habitat outside and watch the visitors to the zoo when they walked in the past.

Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering technology and science for FoxNews.com. He can be reached at christopher.carbone@foxnews.com. Follow him on @christocarbone.

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