Saturday, March 12, 2005

Oldest lowland gorilla in captivity dies

A gorilla believed to be the longest living of its kind in captivity has died of old age. He was 49.

Rudy died in his sleep Tuesday at the Erie Zoo, said zoo spokesman Scott Mitchell.

Captive gorillas can begin to have health problems in their late 20s to early 30s, Mitchell said. Rudy's appetite had been declining recently, he said.

"Forty is an older gorilla, so 49, he's really up there," Mitchell said.

Rudy was captured in Africa as a baby. He arrived at the Erie Zoo in 1987 after living at zoos in St. Louis, Los Angeles and Cleveland.

Rudy was believed by the International Species Information System, which keeps records on captive animals, to be the oldest captive lowland gorilla in the world.



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