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Zoo Atlanta mourns death of Shamba, 58, its oldest gorilla

October 27, 2017

In this 2013 photo provided by Zoo Atlanta, Shamba celebrates her 54th birthday at the zoo. Atlanta's zoo is mourning the death of 58-year-old Shamba, its oldest gorilla. Zoo Atlanta says the western lowland gorilla was found unresponsive Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. A preliminary examination revealed complications related to advanced age, and the zoo's veterinary staff decided the best option was to euthanize her. (Adam K. Thompson/Zoo Atlanta via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta’s zoo is mourning the death of its oldest gorilla, a 58-year-old female named Shamba.

Zoo Atlanta says the western lowland gorilla was found unresponsive Friday. A preliminary examination revealed complications related to advanced age, and the zoo’s veterinary staff decided the best option was to euthanize her.

The zoo says Shamba was one of the oldest gorillas in the world. Western lowland gorillas are considered geriatric after about age 35.

More than 30 of Shamba’s descendants live at Zoo Atlanta and other zoos around the United States.

A necropsy is planned, with results expected in several weeks.

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