Zoo's razorback gorilla dies of old age

Oct. 22, 2008 at 10:24 AM

MONTREAL, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- One of the North America's oldest captive male African razorback gorillas died of old age in his sleep in a zoo outside Montreal, officials said.

Mumba, 48, was found dead in his cage Tuesday morning by one of his handlers at the Granby Zoo, 50 miles east of Montreal, The Gazette newspaper reported.

Zoo officials said the animal had been suffering from arthritis most of the year and cited natural causes as the cause of death.

The gorilla was around 90 in human years, zoo officials said. He arrived in Granby in 1961 at the age of 15 months after being captured in a forest in Cameroon. He was raised by zoo staff who bottle-fed him. Officials said they suspect the intimate human contact is why mating attempts with three females over the years failed.

Mumba exceeded captive gorilla life expectancy by eight years, the report said.

Handlers said the gorilla enjoyed "listening to soft rock and jazz, and watching Scooby Doo cartoons on television."

Mumba's remains will be treated by a taxidermist and displayed at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, the newspaper said.

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