Milwaukee County, WI – On Thursday, the Milwaukee County Zoo announced the death of a beloved gorilla named Oliver. In a release, the zoo expressed sadness over the loss:
It is with very heavy hearts that the Milwaukee County Zoo announces one of its male silverback gorillas, Oliver, died Sept. 13.
On October 7, Oliver would have celebrated his 35th birthday. But he had been suffering from chronic health issues for years, including chronic heart disease, as well as other chronic illnesses including hypothyroidism, arthritis, dental disease, and gastrointestinal disease.
On the day of his death, he was undergoing surgery to address an infected tooth that was causing him pain; while he was under, he suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest. His veterinary team worked tirelessly to save him but their efforts were not successful.
Oliver exceeded the average lifespan of a gorilla in captivity and he was considered to be “geriatric” at the ripe old age of 34.
Zookeepers share that, “Oliver was a well-loved gorilla by the teams at the Milwaukee County and Columbus Zoos alike. He was intelligent and very intuitive, which helped him live a full ‘gorilla social life’ even after it was discovered he was deaf. He did a great job of leading and protecting his troop of females. He will be missed by many!”
Rest in peace Oliver.