Heart Disease Fells Ape Modernist: Doc, Houston Zoo’s Painting Orangutan Dies

Doc, a 27-year old  orangutan artist, died Tuesday at the Houston zoo, euthanized after a battle with heart disease. Doc’s paintings were sold in several of the zoo’s Pongos helping Pongos events to raise money for orangutan and elephant conservation. The ape was an artist cast in a mid-century mold: known for his “blustery” personality, “Doc was quite contemplative when working on the canvas, using light small strokes with plant leaves that showed his intelligent and gentle nature,” according to Houston Zoo Assistant Curator of Primates Lynn Killam. Doc was originally brought to Houston as companion for Kelly, a female orangutan, and leaves behind two children, Solaris and Aurora.

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