WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Kucheza, the chimpanzee born at the Sedgwick County Zoo five weeks ago, has died, the zoo announced Thursday.

The animal care team found Kucheza dead and cradled in his mother Mahale's arms when they arrived at the zoo Thursday morning. Zookeepers said Mahale is not ready to part with Kucheza. A full medial assessment will be done to determine the cause of death.  

Images and videos of Kucheza and his mother have been viewed millions of times on the zoo's social media pages.

"Mahale’s love for Kucheza was and will continue to be felt by billions of people around the world," the zoo said in a release. "In his few short weeks of life, Kucheza brought joy and light to so many, and sparked an opportunity to educate the world about chimpanzees, the dangers they face in the wild, and most importantly - why we should care."

Mahale gave birth to Kucheza  via c-section at 12:48 p.m. on Nov. 15. Two days later, the zoo posted video of the two being reunited. 

 
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