Chumba, a beloved gorilla at Zoo Atlanta, was killed Thursday at the age of 59 after her physical condition deteriorated.
It was the zoo’s second-oldest gorilla and the fourth-oldest gorilla in the world, according to a press release from Zoo Atlanta.
The zoo’s statement said Chompa suffered from advanced arthritis and other age-related conditions that raised concern for her quality of life days before her death. The animal care and veterinary team eventually decided that it would be best to kill her “due to her poor prognosis”.
“This is a very difficult day for Zoo Atlanta and especially for the Choomba care team, who knew her closely, saw her and nurtured her daily with the utmost dedication,” Jennifer Meckleberg, Vice President of Collections and Conservation, said in the statement.
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Chumba was one of the founding gorillas at Zoo Atlanta when she arrived in the 1980s and was the mother of Mashi, Kudzu and Succari. According to the statement, she also has great-grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren who live in certified zoos across the United States.
At the age of 59, she was considered an older adult and lived in a large social group with Ozzie, the world’s largest living male gorilla.
“Chumba left a tremendous legacy at Zoo Atlanta, in the North American gorilla community, and in the hearts of those who know her best,” Meckleberg said.
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