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News Release

For Immediate Release
Fort Worth Zoo mourns loss of aging gorilla

FORT WORTH, Texas — Kambula, one of the Zoo’s three male Western lowland gorillas, was euthanized on Thursday, February 26,
after his health rapidly declined during the last month. At 32 years old, Kambula lived in the World of Primates exhibit with the Zoo’s group of gorillas including two other males and three females. Kambula was the Zoo’s second oldest male gorilla, and joined the Fort Worth Zoo in January 1992.

After Kambula was diagnosed with abdominal abscesses and heart disease in recent weeks, the Zoo’s veterinary team began intensive
medical treatments to help treat his condition and ease any discomfort. Unfortunately, after the abscesses were surgically treated he continued to lose heart function.

“We are extremely saddened by this loss but assured by the fact that Kambula received the best care available, not only during his
illness but during his entire life at the Zoo,” said Zoo Executive Director Michael Fouraker.

According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survivor Plan (SSP), only 34 percent of male gorillas in U.S. zoos
live to be 32 years old.

The Fort Worth Zoo is home to a large population of aging primates. The only zoo in the country to house all four great ape species, the Zoo is also home to three orangutans, two gorillas, two chimpanzees and one bonobo who are all over the age of 30.

Though the average life span varies according to each species, most captive apes face a decline in survivorship at around 30 years old.

Geriatric apes face some of the same health issues as aging humans such as heart disease, respiratory infections, arthritis and cancer.

In caring for its aging primate population, the Fort Worth Zoo closely monitors the animals’ health and activity, routinely makes any necessary changes to their exhibits and administers vitamins and supplements to assist with their age-related health issues.

The nationally acclaimed Fort Worth Zoo has been ranked the #5 zoo in the nation by USA Travel Guide and the #1 attraction in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex by Zagat survey. Home to nearly 500 animal species and a world-famous reptile collection, the Zoo supports more than 25 conservation projects around the globe. The institution’s focus on education and conservation is second to none, enhancing the lives of more than 1 million visitors a year.

For Further Information Contact:
Alexis Wilson, Communications Director

Remekca Owens, Public Relations Manager