When Margrit was born, the Federal Republic of Germany was still in its infancy – now the oldest great ape in the world has died at the Frankfurt Zoo at the age of around 70. The monkey lady was popular and respected among her peers.

She was born in the rainforests of the Congo and lived in the Frankfurt Zoo in 1959 – now the female Bonobo Margrit has died, probably around 70 years old. This was announced by a zoo spokeswoman on Tuesday. According to the zoo, she was probably the oldest representative of her species and probably even the oldest great ape of the population alive today.

The life of the longtime matriarch of the bonobo group ended peacefully and quickly, it said. Only two days earlier, the nurses noticed slight changes. Margit was a little less active and no longer ate her usual amounts, it was said. “She showed no signs of pain.”

She died within minutes under the watchful eye of the care team while younger female Hannah sat by her side, zoo director Christina Geiger said. Margrit had an unusually long life and was popular and respected among her peers. “Now it was time for her to go.”

The Frankfurt Zoo owed Margrit the world’s first breeding of bonobos in 1962. She had offspring a total of seven times. Around 80 of their offspring are currently living in 17 zoos, including one in Frankfurt.