Brookfield Zoo’s 50-year-old gorilla Ramar dies

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BROOKFIELD, Ill. – The Brookfield Zoo is mourning the loss of its 50-year-old gorilla Ramar.

Ramar was the oldest animal at the zoo and one of the oldest western lowland gorillas in the North American zoo population. He was euthanized on Thursday.

Zoo officials say he stopped eating a few weeks ago, and a recent exam revealed that that he had a partial blockage of his bowel and stomach with plant material from his normal diet. This issue, combined degenerative heart disease and arthritis, led to a decline in Ramar’s quality of life. That’s when zoo staff decided that euthanasia would be the most humane option.

In 1969, after being orphaned in the wild, Ramar was brought to the United States and raised by a human family until he was about 6 years old.

Ramar has called the Brookfield Zoo home since October 1998. While there, he sired his only offspring — two sons and a daughter.