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Widow Leaves $600,000 to Monkeys

April 25, 1986

PAIGNTON, England (AP) _ An animal lover who visited and fed monkeys at a zoo here for 20 years has left them nearly $600,000, the zoo’s curator said Friday.

Marie Lefevre, a childless widow who died in July at age 84, left almost her entire estate to the upkeep and welfare of 120 primates at Paignton Zoological and Botanical Gardens in Devon, southwest England.

″She would bring them all sorts of biscuits and tidbits and exotic fruits the likes of which these monkeys had never had before,″ curator Colin Bath said. ″All hell would break loose in the cages whenever she arrived.″

Her favorites were Robert and Julie, an elderly chimpanzee couple, but all the primates, ranging in size from chimps to tiny lemurs, benefited from her affection, Bath said.

″She always regretted we didn’t have an orangutan, but we didn’t have the facilities to accommodate one. Now we will use her money to build a whole new complex and we hope to get an orangutan,″ said Bath.