Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Passing of a Patriarch: Calgary Zoo Gorilla Kakinga Dies at 37

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Passing of a Patriarch: Calgary Zoo Gorilla Kakinga Dies at 37

Article excerpt

Old silverback dies at Calgary Zoo

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CALGARY - A silverback gorilla often called the Calgary Zoo's gentle giant has died at the age of 37.

The zoo says Kakinga died on the weekend of heart failure.

The zoo had been the gorilla's home for more than 30 years after he arrived from the Jersey Zoo in the United Kingdom in 1984.

The median life expectancy for gorillas in captivity is 31.1 years.

Zoo staff say Kakinga was an exceptional silverback -- a kind, loving, protective and diligent leader.

Curator Dr. Malu Celli says everyone at the zoo is mourning the loss of western lowland gorilla because of his importance to the troop and his endearing nature.

But Celli says Kakinga will not be forgotten.

"Kakinga's legacy will live on in his offspring in the Species Survival Plan and in the hearts of those who came to love him over his many years at the Calgary Zoo," Celli said Monday. …

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