Oldest Male Orangutan in North America – Who Loved Bob Barker and The Price Is Right – Dies at 45
"He loved football and would make a nest in front of the TV on weekends and look like every other guy, kicked back watching the games," J.J.'s keeper at the Toledo Zoo fondly recalled
Toledo is mourning the loss of one of its longest and most beloved residents: J.J. the orangutan.
The 45-year-old ape, who lived at the Toledo Zoo in Ohio, died over the weekend from heart failure. According to the zoo, J.J. – whose full name was Jiggs Junior – was the oldest male orangutan in North America.
The zoo announced the news on Facebook, Tuesday, calling J.J. a “beloved member,” noting that “millions of visitors enjoyed his gentle disposition, remarkable intelligence and endearing interactions.”
J.J.’s long-time zookeeper, Suzanne Husband, shared that the orangutan loved visiting with toddlers and was a little bit of a TV addict.
“One of his favorite enrichment items was watching TV,” she said. “He loved football and would make a nest in front of the TV on weekends and look like every other guy, kicked back watching the games.”
RELATED VIDEO: Orangutan Can’t Stop Laughing After Seeing This Magic Trick
Other than sports coverage, J.J.’s favorite series was game show The Price Is Right.
“He would come in from exhibit every day at [11 a.m.] and wait for us to turn on the TV,” said Husband. “He would even be a little annoyed if we were late!”
She noted that after Drew Carey took over hosting duties a few years ago, J.J.’s interest in the series waned – revealing that his affection was really for former star Bob Barker.
“Later in his life, we were able to stream his TV through the Internet and pull up old shows and his interest in the game show came back,” said Husband.
The zoo called J.J. an “incredible ambassador for his species,” noting, “He will be dearly missed.”