World’s oldest male Gorilla, Ozzie. PHOTO CREDIT: Zoo Atlantic
The world’s oldest male Gorilla popularly called Ozzie has died at the age of 61 at a zoo in Atlanta, Georgia.
The cause of the Gorilla’s death is still unknown.
Ozzie is also the third-oldest gorilla in the world. He was found dead by his care team on January 25, 2022. This was announced on Tuesday by Zoo Atlantic.
The zoo explained that before Ozzie died, he exhibited decreased appetite last Thursday, January 20, and the Animal Care and Veterinary Teams were providing him with supportive care to encourage him to eat and drink.
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The zoo also said a necropsy, or the non-human equivalent of an autopsy, will be performed through the Zoo’s partnership with the University of Georgia Zoo and Exotic Animal Pathology Service in the College of Veterinary Medicine and should provide the teams with more information on Ozzie’s condition.
Zoo Atlanta says it will share these results once they are available.
“This is a devastating loss for Zoo Atlanta. While we knew this time would come someday, that inevitability does nothing to stem the deep sadness we feel at losing a legend,” said Raymond B. King, President, and CEO.
“Ozzie’s life’s contributions are indelible, in the generations of individuals he leaves behind in the gorilla population and in the world’s body of knowledge in the care of his species. Our thoughts are with his care team, who have lost a part of their lives and a part of their hearts.”
The zoo officials explained that Ozzie was a true living legend in the fabric of Zoo Atlanta’s history and, like his peer, the late Willie B., was an icon in his own time, symbolic of the dramatic rebirth of the Zoo in the 1980s.
He was the only surviving member of the original generation of gorillas who arrived at Zoo Atlanta with the opening of The Ford African Rain Forest in 1988.