Remembering Dar

With great sadness...

Our dear friend Dar died Saturday, November 24, 2012. The director of the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI), Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold, said the post mortem examination revealed that Dar died from sudden cardiac failure. This is the leading cause of death in captive male chimpanzees. The average life age of this population is 30 years; Dar was 36. He was in otherwise good health.

"Dar signed throughout his life, teaching us about friendships between humans and nonhumans and the minds of chimpanzees," said Jensvold. "He will be dearly missed."

The local Ellensburg newspaper, the Daily Record, printed a wonderful editorial paying tribute to Dar and Washoe's family. "...Much like the deaths of Washoe and Moja, this was a death in the family for the other chimpanzees in residence, Loulis and Tatu, the institute staff and volunteers, the campus community and the community at large..." Read more.

More articles about Dar:
Chimp leaves a legacy of lessons for humans
Dar, CWU’s 36-year-old signing chimp, dies

Tributes to Dar

Dar was the oldest of the two males at CHCI. His name sign is the index finger of a "D" hand flicking the ear on the same side. Dar was born on August 2, 1976 at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Dar's mother, Kitty, lives at The Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas. His father, Paleface, was one of the largest chimpanzees in captivity. Dar himself was just over five feet tall and weighed approximately 170 lbs. Dar was a fairly mellow guy, but when he displayed he showed his strength and size.



Full Name: Dar es Salaam, named for the capital of Tanzania.

Pronunciation: där

Name Sign: “D” flicked on ear. Dar's name sign refers to his prominent ears.

Taxonomic Classification: Pan troglodytes verus (presumed classification)

Date Of Birth: August 2, 1976

Place Of Birth: Holloman Air Force Base, Alamagordo, New Mexico.

Early Childhood/Rearing Conditions: Dar was cross-fostered by Drs. Beatrix T. and R. Allen Gardner from 1976 - 1981. He joined the Foutses at the Central Washington University in 1981.

Date of Death: Dar passed way November 24, 2012 at CHCI of cardiomyopathy or sudden cardiac failure.

Personal: Dar was a big, easy-going guy. His human companions describde Dar as "light hearted," "relaxed," and "good natured." Dar did everything with a minimum of physical effort, despite his large physique.

Favorite Activities: Dar enjoyed playing chase, tickle, and looking at books or magazines. He frequently requested hats and shoes (when they could be found large enough to fit his size 12 or 13 feet). He seemed to be interested in tools and mechanical things, and taking things apart.

Favorite Foods: Bananas (especially the peels), white rice, bread, noodles, soda pop, red licorice, and ice cream.