Ozzie, 61, world's OLDEST male gorilla, dies of Covid at Atlanta zoo
The world's oldest male gorilla is no more. Yes, you heard that right! Ozzie, the oldest-known male gorilla breathed his last at Zoo Atlanta after he contracted coronavirus. The 61-year-old gorilla had Covid symptoms similar to humans and was reportedly uncomfortable for the past few days.
Ozzie was among the few primates who tested positive for covid in September last year. However, he was able to cope with the medications and survived the deadly disease. But unfortunately, it seems that the virus had once again hit the old giant ape. The cause of his death was not known in the initial hours but he was being treated for facial swelling, weakness, and was unable to eat or drink, the zoo officials said.
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Reacting to the unprecedented demise of this legendary ape, Zoo Atlanta President and CEO Raymond B King said, "While we knew this time would come someday, that inevitability does nothing to stem the deep sadness we feel at losing a legend."
According to FOX5 in Atlanta, zoo vets noticed that Ozzie began to lose his appetite last week but they continued to offer him care and encouraged him to eat and drink. The western lowland gorilla, who weighed 350 pounds, arrived at the zoo in 1988 and fathered 12 gorillas at the park. The zoo described him as a "terrific father" who disliked loud music and had a taste for oranges and cabbage.
Ozzie also holds unique records and scientific milestones under his name. He was the first gorilla to get a blood pressure reading. He held the title of oldest male gorilla, but Fatou -- a 64-year-old female at Berlin Zoo -- is still the oldest living gorilla. At Zoo Atlanta, Ozzie is survived by three sons, a daughter, a granddaughter, a great-granddaughter, and a great-grandson but his lineage stretches across other zoos in the US and Canada.
The western lowland gorilla is one of the four subspecies of the great ape. This western lowland gorilla is native to the rainforests of central Africa. Poaching and disease have shrunk its population by 60 per cent, leaving the animals critically endangered and only a few are left to be preserved for the future.