Gigi. (Zoo New England)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) —Franklin Park Zoo says that their 47-year-old gorilla has died.
The western lowland gorilla, Gigi, passed away Saturday morning. She was the zoo’s oldest gorilla, and was one of the oldest gorillas living in North American zoos.
The zoo said Gigi “was lethargic, had a decreased appetite and decrease mobility.” After an exam, it was decided to “humanely euthanize her due to poor prognosis and quality of life concerns.”
Gigi had been experiencing health problems for several months before her death, including liver and uterine tumors.
“She was part of the zoo family for nearly 40 years, and will be incredibly missed by the staff who has cared for her for so many years,” Zoo New England President and CEO John Linehan said.
Gigi first came to Stone Zoo in 1980 after being born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1972. She then moved to Franklin Park Zoo in 1989 as part of the Tropical Forest Pavilion.
“As Gigi became older, her role within the gorilla troop at Franklin Park Zoo grew into a grandmotherly role,” the zoo said in a statement. “She loved to interact with the younger gorillas once they were comfortable leaving their mom and approaching Gigi for attention.”
The gorilla was said to have loved blankets, which she would make nests with, and stuffed toys. Her favorite stuffed toy was “a purple monkey with bananas printed on it.”
“She played an integral role in our gorilla troop and has a special place in all of her caretaker’s hearts. We are all going to miss her,” Erica Farrell, Assistant Curator of the Tropical Forest at Franklin Park Zoo, said.