Friday, November 10, 2006

Ben the Gorilla Drowns at Jacksonville Zoo

ben the gorillaIt's a sad day at the Jacksonville Zoo as zookeepers, staff and visitors say goobye to Ben, the 21-year old gorilla.

Ben was one of four male gorillas at the zoo. He died yesterday when he slipped and fell into a moat.

Craig Miller is the zoo's curator of mammals.

"These gorillas are very popular animals, and can be so personable, with their own unique personalities, can't help but be attached to them," says Miller.

Ben died in a bizzare accident that happened while he was chasing and playing with another gorilla named Quito.

Ben slipped on this embankment and fell over into the shallow moat and drowned.

Staff was right outside the walls, but couldn't get there in time.

"The vets were on him immediately trying to resesitate him, but were too late by then obviously," says Miller.

The water was only about waist high, but Ben made no attempt to sit up or swim.

Miller and other zoo staff who had known Ben for years are taking the loss hard.

Grief counselors have even been called in to help.

"You know they're taking it hard and are upset but there are still other animals to take care of and they've handled it well, I'm proud of them," says Miller.


Story here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what a terrible accident.....by the way, none of the great apes can swim, so he could not have swum out of the moat. :(((((