A 31-year-old western lowland gorilla died Thursday after failing to recover from anesthesia after a medical procedure.
On its Facebook page, the Zoo said the humane euthanization came after the male gorilla didn’t recover from anesthesia for a routine medical procedure he received Monday. He had a history of heart disease that was being managed with medication. The Zoo said he was put under anesthesia to evaluate his condition. Despite medical care that went around the clock since the procedure, Anakka wasn’t responding and showed no sign of recovery.
A veterinary neurologist gave a presumptive diagnosis of a stroke. A full necropsy (animal autopsy) will be done.
“The veterinary and animal care teams have been providing him with medical care around the clock since the procedure,” said Dr. Randy Junge, DVM and Vice President of Animal Health. “Unfortunately he was unresponsive with no sign of recovery and the very difficult decision was made to humanely euthanize him.”
Anakka was born at the Philadelphia Zoo on June 1, 1985 and he has lived at the Columbus Zoo since 1993 where he sired four offspring. Median life expectancy for gorillas in North American zoos is 31.9 years of age.