World’s oldest male gorilla dies at 61
Ozzie was the oldest gorilla at Zoo Atlanta and third-oldest gorilla in the world.
Zoo Atlanta announced that Ozzie—the world’s oldest male gorilla—has died at age 61 on January 25, 2022.
“This is a devastating loss for Zoo Atlanta. While we knew this time would come someday, that inevitability does nothing to stem the deep sadness we feel at losing a legend,” said Raymond B. King, president and CEO of Zoo Atlanta, in an organizational release.
“Ozzie’s life’s contributions are indelible, in the generations of individuals he leaves behind in the gorilla population and in the world’s body of knowledge in the care of his species. Our thoughts are with his care team, who have lost a part of their lives and a part of their hearts,” he added.
Ozzie’s cause of death is currently unknown. A necropsy will be performed through the Zoo’s partnership with the University of Georgia Zoo and Exotic Animal Pathology Service in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Zoo Atlanta will share the results once they are available.
Ozzie displayed decreased appetite on Thursday, January 20, 2022, and the animal care and veterinary teams offered him supportive care to urge him to eat and drink. During the past 24 hours of his life, Ozzie was treated after demonstrating symptoms including facial swelling, weakness, and inability to eat or drink.
Ozzie was a legend in Zoo Atlanta’s history and an icon during his time, symbolic of the dramatic rebirth of the Zoo in the 1980s. He was the last surviving member of the original generation of gorillas that arrived at Zoo Atlanta with the opening of The Ford African Rain Forest in 1988.
In 2009, he made history when he was the first gorilla worldwide to ever partake in a voluntary blood pressure reading. Impressively, he was geriatric even at the time of that achievement, at age 48. Gorillas are considered geriatric after the age of about 40.
According to the release, Ozzie is survived by daughter Kuchi; sons Kekla, Stadi, and Charlie; granddaughter Lulu; great-granddaughter Andi, and great-grandson Floyd, all residents at Zoo Atlanta. His legacy includes children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren living at other attributed zoos in the US and Canada.
Ozzie’s remarkable life reflects the care, expertise, and substantial innovations of the Zoo’s Gorilla Care Team, which is well-known for geriatric gorilla care.
Ozzie, world’s oldest male gorilla, has died. News release. Zoo Atlanta. January 25, 2022. Accessed January 28, 2022.https://zooatlanta.org/ozzie-worlds-oldest-male-gorilla-has-died/