JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is mourning the loss of its oldest silverback gorilla.
Lash would have turned 46 years old on Christmas Day, the Zoo said in a Facebook post on Thursday. The Zoo said the median life expectancy for silverbacks is 33 years old.
“He was recently experiencing increased mobility challenges, depressed appetite and mild GI issues,” the Zoo’s Facebook post said.
Lash had also been receiving treatment for heart disease and arthritis over an extended period of time.
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He was born at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in 1976 and came to Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in 1998. He has fathered three offspring, all of which are currently still at the Zoo: Patty, born May 2015, Gandai, born in September 2018, and Kevin, born in April 2021.
The Zoo said Lash’s bond with Rumpel helped the zoo to have “a rare mix-sexed troop with more than one silverback, which was recently the largest group size of gorillas in the US.”
The Zoo said Lash was fond of monkeys and enjoyed spending time with them more than any other gorilla.
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