I painted this beloved young orangutan long ago, but for some reason never posted it. His mysterious and sudden death in 2012 made front page news again today, so it is opportune for me to remember him. Mahal was Milwaukee County Zoo's prize orangutan brought there from Colorado. I remember it was a shock to all, and today it was published that Mahal died of a virus from a tapeworm which should not have been found in an orangutan, rather a weasel. The tapeworm has been found in Finland and Japan, but not Milwaukee, Wisconsin so how it got here is a mystery. Scientists are studying this mysterious scenario to find out if this virus can also affect humans.
Followup articles will be in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in the next few days.