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HomeNational Animal NewsZoo Announces Unexpected Death Of Beloved Gorilla, Martha

Zoo Announces Unexpected Death Of Beloved Gorilla, Martha

Texas – On Tuesday afternoon, the Gladys Porter Zoo made a heartbreaking announcement to the public. Martha, a Western lowland gorilla, died unexpectedly:

Gladys Porter Zoo staff are shocked and devastated to relay the news that Martha, a beloved member of the Zoo’s Western lowland gorilla troop, passed away unexpectedly last Tuesday night. She was 32 years old.

Walter DuPree, Curator of Mammals said:

Martha loved to interact with the public. I remember she’d put her ear to the glass, tap and wait for guests to tap back. She was also a proud mom who loved to show off her and her sisters’ babies to visitors.

According to a release from the zoo, Martha was “slow to respond” to her keepers on the day that she passed away. She was being treated for a urinary tract infection but she did not display any sign of something more serious. But a necrospy revealed the cause of her death.

“Upon necropsy, we found that she had multiple organ abnormalities, which, in turn, created a life-ending cascade,” said Dr. Tom deMaar, the Zoo’s Senior Veterinarian. “The cascade began with fibrosing heart disease, which led to renal failure.”

Martha was the last gorilla baby born to the Zoo’s matriarch and patriarch, Katunga and Lamydoc. While Lamydoc and Katunga produced 11 offspring, Katunga was never very interested in raising any of them. Accordingly, Martha was raised by staff and then successfully integrated back into the troop. The zoo said that she was an “excellent mother” to her six offspring.

Rest in peace Martha.

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  1. Wild animals don’t belong in captivity. The death should be investigated, and a petition started to initiate it.

    • I agree but I think that where it is done, it needs to be better regulated. For example I read that China has over 5,000 tigers in captivity but they are poorly treated because they are used for medicine (unnecessarily I believe as a lot of what they call “medicine” has no medicinal purpose what so ever, but because people believe this to be true, it’s still being done). That needs to be investigated and stopped asap. There are way less tigers than that number in the wild all over the world so why is it allowed if zoos are supposed to help animal numbers grow not decline. If the whole world had the same rules and standards of animal welfare this wouldn’t be the case. Check out 19 Sad Animals in Captivity Statistics (2022 updated).

  2. Her kidneys probably failed. My beloved, Zelda had to go across the bridge last April because of not being treated by the vet with an antibiotic for a UTI. Very heartbreaking and avoidable. I miss her so. Sorry for the deep loss of Martha. 🦍🕊️🙏💜😪



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