ATLANTA, GA (WSPA) – Ozzie, the world’s oldest male gorilla, has died at the age of 61, according to Zoo Atlanta.
Ozzie, a western lowland gorilla, was the third oldest gorilla in the world and the oldest at Zoo Atlanta.
The zoo said Ozzie was found dead Tuesday by his care team.
“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 Zoo Atlanta President and CEO Raymond B. King.
“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,” said King. “Our thoughts are with his care team, who have lost a part of their lives and a part of their hearts.”
Ozzie arrived in Atlanta in 1988 and made history as the first gorilla in the world to participate in a voluntary blood pressure reading, the zoo said.
He is the second western lowland gorilla to die at Zoo Atlanta this month.
Choomba, a 59-year-old female, was euthanized on January 13 due to age-related complications and a poor prognosis for her comfort and quality of life.
Choomba was the fourth oldest gorilla in the world at the time of her passing.