A gorilla called Trudy, who is believed to be the oldest western lowland gorilla in captivity, has died in the US at the age of 63.
A spokesperson for The Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas said staff discovered she had died when they checked on her on Wednesday morning.
In a tweet on Thursday evening, officials said: “The Zoo is sad to announce the passing of Trudy, the grand dame of Little Rock Zoo.
“At 63, Trudy was the oldest living western lowland gorilla living in a zoo in the world.
“You will be missed, sweet girl.”
The zoo’s director, Susan Altrui, said Trudy was the oldest gorilla in zoo records, which are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums – an international accrediting organisation.
However, she added that is was “possible but highly unlikely” that non-accredited zoos have older gorillas.
Trudy was brought from Africa as an infant in 1957, a practice which is no longer allowed.
She arrived at Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas in 1988 on a “breeding loan”, after spending time in St Louis and Buffalo zoos.
The opening of the ape exhibit that year allowed Trudy and her mate, Ollie, to be the first gorillas ever to be exhibited in Arkansas.
Trudy never had any children during her time in the zoo, but she played an important role in the formation of one of the first all-male gorilla groups, which are now commonly seen in zoos.
She saw out her “retirement” in the zoo’s smaller gorilla yard with her companion Brutus, and would typically hang out near the entrance to the display.
Syd Tanner, one of her former keepers, called her the “boss lady” of her all-male group and a “hardy gal that did what she wanted to do when she wanted”.
She was one of the last gorillas to be captured in the wild.
Source: SKY NEWS