Jersey Zoo announces death of gorilla

A gorilla, which has been at Jersey Zoo for almost 40 years, has died.

The 45-year old female western lowland gorilla named Kishka joined the zoo in 1984, aged six.

Staff said she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2020 and keepers and vets have been managing her condition.

Ben Matthews, curator of mammals at Jersey Zoo, said she had been known for her gentle temperament and her death was "incredibly sad for everyone".

Gorilla house closed

The zoo said the difficult decision was made to put Kishka to sleep after a decline in her condition.

The zoo's gorilla team said they were working to ensure the rest of the troop, including silverback Badongo, females Bahasha and Hlala Kahilli, and four-year-old Amari, were managed sensitively.

Staff said the gorilla house will remain closed for several days to allow the troop time to adjust.

'Gentle temperament'

Ben Matthews, curator of mammals at Jersey Zoo said it was "incredibly sad for everyone".

He added: "Over the years, Kishka was a stalwart of Jersey Zoo’s gorilla troop, taking life in her stride and at her own pace.

"She was known for her gentle temperament; acting as a stoic, matriarchal figure for many young gorillas, as well as helping to induct generations of young zookeepers into careers with great apes.”

Mr Matthews said staff "have handled the process carefully and considerately and will continue to monitor the troop closely over the next few weeks.”

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