Beloved chimp Hank honored at memorial

Beloved chimp Hank honored at memorial

February 5th, 2011 by Carey O'Neil in Local Regional News

About 200 friends of Hank the chimp came to his memorial service today at the Warner Family Education Center.

Some old enough to remember Hank's arrival at the Warner Park Zoo and others young enough to have run alongside the chimp, who would jump and holler as he ran, stopping occasionally to press his lips to the glass for a kiss.

Nearly 100 hand-drawn pictures and heartfelt messages greeted visitors to Hank's Chattanooga Zoo habitat.The Gombe Forest exhibit the chimpanzee called home was dark for the occasion, but the messages recalled brighter times. Hank was 42 when he was found dead Jan. 24.

Rick Jackson, one of Hank's caretakers for seven years, said the turnout would have made the chimp proud.

"He's always been about his public," Jackson said. "He's always just loved visitors.

See complete coverage in Sunday's Times Free Press.