Gorilla euthanized at Louisville Zoo

Aug. 3, 2011 at 7:33 PM
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LOUISVILLE, Ky., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- A 52-year-old gorilla has been euthanized at a zoo in Kentucky, officials say.

The decision to put down the western lowland gorilla, Timmy, Tuesday came after his health deteriorated over the past few weeks, WOIO-TV in Cleveland reported.

Timmy had been suffering from heart disease, heart arrhythmia and osteoarthritis over the past few years, Louisville Zoo veterinarian Roy Burns said. The gorilla began treatment for his medical issues several months ago.

Timmy was born in the wild Cameroon in 1959 and brought to the Memphis Zoo in 1960. From there he was transferred to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 1966.

In 1991, Timmy was moved to the Bronx Zoo in New York. An animal activist group tried to block this move, citing that taking Timmy away from his infertile mate in Cleveland would harm his health. Nonetheless, a judge approved his move and the gorilla moved to New York City.

At the Bronx Zoo, Timmy produced 13 offspring between 1992 and 2004, whereas he previously had fathered none.

In 2004, Timmy made his last move to the Louisville Zoo.

Western lowland gorillas are labeled as critically endangered in the wild due to the deforestation of their natural habitat, infectious disease outbreaks and poaching.

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