Toronto Zoo’s oldest orangutan dies

The Toronto Zoo‘s oldest orangutan, Molek, was euthanized on Wednesday.

According to a press release issued by the zoo, the 32-year-old Sumatran orangutan suffered complete renal failure and had to be put down.

Over the past several weeks, Molek showed signs of lethargy, loss of appetite and other symptoms. It was determined he was suffering from progressive kidney disease.

Zoo officials decided to euthanize the animal after his condition deteriorated and he refused medication.

“I would like to commend the orangutan keepers for their dedication and professionalism in caring for him during this difficult time,” zoo senior veterinarian Dr. Graham Crawshaw said in the release.

Molek was born at Zoo Atlanta in 1978 and came to Toronto in 1996 as part of the zoo’s species survival plan for Sumatran orangutan.

He is the oldest male of seven other members at the zoo and is among only 60,000 other orangutans estimated to still be left in the wild.


  1. Always been my favorite exhibit. We were there in June and enjoyed watching them play again. I will be sad to visit now and always remember Molek. RIP big guy!

  2. Very sad to see Molek go. Glad he was fortunate enough to live out his life under the care of great zookeepers in a great Zoo.

    Allen Nyhuis, Coauthor: America’s Best Zoos

  3. I went to the Toronto zoo today looking for this particular orangutan. i look for him every year and notice that he was a pretty depressed looking animal…I did not see him and did not know that he had passed just yesterday.what a coincidence….so ssaaad.

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