San Francisco Zoo's Prized Chimpanzee Dies

Tallulah may have served as the inspiration for Yoda's face

Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013  |  Updated 6:19 PM PDT
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The zoo is mourning the loss of one of its oldest animals. Tallulah the chimp died Sunday after a long illness. Joe Rosato Jr. shows us how her long life is helping other older animals.

The zoo is mourning the loss of one of its oldest animals. Tallulah the chimp died Sunday after a long illness. Joe Rosato Jr. shows us how her long life is helping other older animals.

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The San Francisco Zoo announced Monday that Tallulah, the matriarch of the zoo's "Chimpanzee Troops," has died.

Tallulah, who has called the San Francisco Zoo home since 1967, was believed to be in her mid to late 50s. She died from heart disease complicated by breast cancer, the zoo said in a release.

Long considered a zoo favorite by vistors and staff alike, Tallulah's keepers described here as: "funny, clever, confident and a stricket with a playful personality."

She enjoyed people watching, looking at recycled magazines and snuggling with her favorite blanket.

Urban legend says Tallulah's face served as inspiration for that of Yoda in the Star Wars films, although that cannot be confirmed.

Tallulah has been part of a four-pack of chimpanzees that have been together since the 1960s. The other three remain in good health.

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