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World's oldest male gorilla dies at Atlanta zoo

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Posted at 2:51 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 16:53:28-05

Zoo Atlanta announced that its 61-year-old male gorilla died.

The zoo says its care team found Ozzie dead on Tuesday.

It's not clear what caused Ozzie's death. Zoo officials said they noticed he started to feel unwell on Jan. 20 and, more recently, showed worsening symptoms.

"Over the past 24 hours, the teams had been treating him when he presented symptoms including facial swelling, weakness, and inability to eat or drink," Zoo Atlanta said in a statement.

A necropsy will be done to determine the cause of death, the zoo stated.

Ozzie was the oldest male gorilla in the world, according to the zoo.

He had been at the zoo since 1988.

“While we knew this time would come someday, that inevitability does nothing to stem the deep sadness we feel at losing a legend,” said Raymond B. King, president and CEO of Zoo Atlanta. “Ozzie’s life’s contributions are indelible, in the generations of individuals he leaves behind in the gorilla population and in the world’s body of knowledge in the care of his species."

The zoo says Ozzie is survived by his daughter, sons, great-granddaughter and great-grandson, all of whom live at Zoo Atlanta.