Mourning the loss Dar, the chimp who touched many lives - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Mourning the loss Dar, the chimp who touched many lives

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Ellensburg, WASH.--There wasn't a dry eye in the house Sunday as people gathered together to mourn the loss of a dear friend.

"Dar was a unique individual, and he was just a good friend to everyone he met," said Glee Larsen.

"He has touched me in so many ways and just his fun loving being," said Kelsi Breen. "There's no words for him. It's really just an experience you have to be there and see."

"We will miss Dar very much," said Jim Gaudino, the president of Central Washington University.

Sweet Dar, that's what they call the 36-year-old chimpanzee who died suddenly from heart failure last week. Dar was one of the chimps living at Central Washington University.

He was an intelligent animal who used sign language to communicate with people and other chimps. People say Dar taught them some of life's most valuable lessons and they'll never forget his kind soul.

"He's taught me what pure friendship is I think without all the frills, and humans get caught up in a lot of different things," said Larsen.

"You couldn't help but fall in love with him he was just sweet and quiet," said Shannon Wallin, Dar's caregiver. "Everybody who met him loved him."

Dar leaves behind his two siblings. You can meet these two remaining chimps during the weekend Chimposiums. You'll also learn more about the history of the sign language projects and see what it's like to talk to a chimp.