Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium euthanizes 39-year-old gorilla with inoperable cancer



The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - A 39-year-old gorilla with inoperable cancer was euthanized at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, zoo officials said Tuesday.

Exploratory surgery last week confirmed the cancer in Sylvia, a Western lowland gorilla. She was put to death Monday.

Sylvia was born in the wild and caught when 3 months old. She spent time at the National Zoo in Washington and the Baltimore Zoo before coming to Columbus.

Sylvia never conceived a child, but was a surrogate and adoptive mother to juvenile gorillas at the Columbus Zoo, which in 1956 was the first zoo to have a Western lowland gorilla born in captivity.

Western lowland gorillas are considered endangered. There are about 45,000 in the forests of West Africa, zoo officials said.




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