A 23-year-old gorilla has died while undergoing heart surgery at the National Zoo.
Kuja, was suffering from chronic heart disease that was diagnosed during an examination last month.
On Wednesday veterinarians began to assemble a team of specialists in an effort to implant a sophisticated cardiac device in the ailing animal.
This morning, while performing the surgery, the gorilla’s condition worsened. All efforts to save the animals life were not successful.
Kuja, was one of two dominant males at the zoo. Since his arrival, Kura was fathered two male gorillas.
Zoo officials believe the heart problems could be caused by a problem with his immune system, or a virus.