Harry The Gorilla Dies in Dublin Zoo, Officials Say

By Jack Phillips, Epoch Times
May 30, 2016 2:36 pm Last Updated: May 30, 2016 3:52 pm

A gorilla at a zoo in Dublin, Ireland, died after a short illness, the zoo said on Monday.

Harry, a Western lowland gorilla who lead the zoo’s troop, was 29 years old and fathered six children, reported the Irish Mirror.

The Dublin Zoo shared the news on Facebook on Monday—just two days after another Western lowland gorilla was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo after a 4-year-old child fell into its enclosure.

“Some very sad news from Dublin Zoo,” the zoo wrote in the post. “After a short illness, Harry, the Western lowland gorilla at Dublin Zoo, died yesterday morning 29th May.”

“Harry, the ‘silverback’, was the leader of Dublin Zoo’s gorilla troop. Harry was 29 years old and during his time at the Zoo he fathered 6 offspring,” it added.

“Harry was a very gentle and calm gorilla and he will be greatly missed by everyone at Dublin Zoo,” the statement read. “The exact reason for Harry’s death is still unknown and Dublin Zoo is awaiting the final results of a postmortem.”

Fans of the gorilla have been mourning his death on Twitter. One user said: “Can’t believe Harry the Silverback from Dublin Zoo is dead. He was my favorite.”

The Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is one of two subspecies of the western gorilla, and is found naturally in central Africa in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It is a critically endangered species, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a conservation group.

The WWF explains:

“The exact number of western lowland gorillas is not known because they inhabit some of the most dense and remote rainforests in Africa. Significant populations still exist, including in isolated swamps and the remote swampy forests of the Republic of Congo.

Due to poaching and disease, the subspecies’ numbers have dropped by more than 60 percent over the past 20 to 25 years, the WWF says.

“Even if all of the threats to western lowland gorillas were removed, scientists calculate that the population would require some 75 years to recover,” the group adds.