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Cincinnati Zoo silverback gorilla dies

Cincinnati Zoo silverback gorilla dies (Credit: Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden)
Published: Mar. 12, 2022 at 12:10 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 12, 2022 at 12:16 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) -The Cincinnati Zoo announced that their Western lowland silverback gorilla died Friday.

It is unclear how 30-year-old Jomo died, but he had mobility issues and some close calls since he was diagnosed with a degenerative incurable spinal cord condition in 2019.

According to zoo officials, Jomo, who was at the zoo for 17 years, was the father of three gorillas. He was a surrogate to Gladys since she was a baby.

“His size helped him to perform his silverback duties, which included protecting and leading the troop. He was a big softie when it comes to the kids. He was especially close to Mona, and often came to her defense when there was conflict,” Cincinnati Zoo’s head gorilla keeper Ashley Ashcraft said.

According to officials, heart disease is the number one cause of death in zoo gorillas.

In 2011 the zoo, Christ Hospital, and Toshiba partnered to perform an awake cardiac ultrasound on Jomo. Based on this study, they collected data that now serves as national scientific research.

Zoo officials say that a necropsy will be performed this weekend. Results may not be available for days or weeks.

We are heartbroken to share that Jomo, the 30-year-old silverback gorilla, passed away yesterday. His health has been...

Posted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Saturday, March 12, 2022

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