Oklahoma City Zoo mourns death of silverback gorilla
The Oklahoma City Zoo announced Monday the loss of its male western lowland silverback gorilla, Bom Bom.
“Bom Bom was such a magnificent animal. His loss will be felt by our entire Zoo family,” said Dwight Scott, zoo executive director.
After an necropsy, it was confirmed that the 36-year-old gorilla died of cardiac arrest.
The gorilla was diagnosed with heart disease in 2010 and has been taking medication to alleviate symptoms of the condition since.
The OKC Zoo acquired Bom Bom in 2002. He came from the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans as part of a Species Survival Plan.
Native to western Africa, silverback gorillas are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The union's website says that a species is considered critically endangered “when it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future.”
“Bom Bom was the leader of one of the Zoo’s two troops of lowland gorillas and a guest favorite at Great EscApe. Considered a very good troop leader by his caregivers, Bom Bom’s family included females Kathy, Emily, Kelele, Mikella and Ndjole,” the zoo said in a press release.
Fans of the gorilla are encouraged to visit the OKC Zoo's Facebook page to share memories, thoughts and pictures of the beloved Gorilla.