Actually, the truth is that you can tell it’s a light news day when a major headline story is the death of a smoking chimp. But, Booie, the 44 year old chimp who quit the smoking habit, only to develop a habit for sweets, has died. Once rescued from a research lab, the chimp had been living at an animal refuge. He had become an expert of sign language, and was able to communicate with staff about his wants. He was able to put together entire sentences using sign language, for example, “Booie, see sweet in pocket” to beg for candy. He was a deeply intelligent animal, proving the great intelligence of apes.
Booie passed away from heart problems at his home at an animal refuge near Los Angeles. Normally, chimps don’t often live past 40, so it doesn’t appear that his prior habit of smoking had a great impact on his health. Only a few rare chimps have lived as old as 60 in captivity, though.
Chimps are a strange animal in that they possess great intelligence on one hand, however their animal instincts can make them a potentially dangerous animal in that a chimp has such great strength that they could tear a grown man limb from limb although they are only as tall as child. As intelligent as chimps are, the older they get, they get sometimes more unpredictable and dangerous. This is why young chimps are often trained and used in stunts and TV work and retired as they get older.