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Male Gorilla's Death Is D.C. Zoo's 2nd in Three Days

July 04, 2006|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A western lowland gorilla died at the National Zoo on Monday, days after the zoo's only other adult male died while veterinary specialists were trying to implant a cardiac device.

Mopie died Monday at the Great Ape House. Officials were awaiting a final pathology report that might provide more information about the cause of death.

"He collapsed," zoo spokeswoman Peper Long said of the popular Mopie, who was 34 years old and was born at the zoo.

The staff is "pretty devastated," Long said. "It's a pretty big loss for us."

A 23-year-old gorilla named Kuja who died Saturday was the only other adult male in the National Zoo's collection of seven western lowland gorillas.

Though Kuja's heart function was found to be normal in March, zoo staffers reported that he was lethargic and had experienced appetite loss this month.

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