Thursday, December 01, 2005

Oldest gorilla at Oklahoma City Zoo dies

A 46-year-old female gorilla that has been a fixture at the Oklahoma City Zoo for more than 30 years has died.

Fern, a Western lowlands gorilla, was euthanized Tuesday after several weeks of deteriorating health, zoo officials said.

"She had been under medical watch for the last couple of weeks, acting lethargic and had a loss of appetite," said Dwight Scott, the zoo's director of animal management. "Within the last 48 hours, she really took a turn for the worse."

Fern, who arrived at the Oklahoma City Zoo in 1972 from a zoo in Philadelphia, was the fourth-oldest gorilla in the United States, Scott said. He said gorillas in captivity typically live to between 35 and 40 years old.

Story here.

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