PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Zoo says a male gorilla that officials were trying to mate with a newly arrived female has died.
Zoo officials announced Friday that 28-year-old Jabari was being examined following appetite loss and signs of mouth or throat discomfort.
But they said he stopped breathing once under anesthesia. A necropsy is being done to determine the cause of death and his illness.
The Chicago-born western lowland gorilla arrived in Philadelphia in 2004.
Andy Baker, the zoo’s chief operating officer, called Jabari a favorite of staff and visitors. He says officials are “shocked and deeply saddened.”
In June, the zoo said a female gorilla named Kira was being brought from Boston to pair with Jabari in hopes of fathering the first gorilla born at the zoo in many years.