Unfortunately, the Cincinnati Zoo has recently announced that Bebac, one of the public’s favorite gorilla died a couple of days ago. The necropsy performed on Bebac revealed that the gorilla passed away due to a heart condition developed by all zoo gorillas. At the time of his death, Bebac was 32 years-old.
Cincinnati Zoo caretakers paid their respects to Bebac, a 32 years-old western lowland gorilla who passed away a few days ago. According to their statements, both Bebac and his friend, a 29 years-old western gorilla by the name of Mokolo, have been diagnosed with the life-threatening condition at the beginning of 2008.
The zookeepers explained that all gorillas which were born and grown in captivity develop this kind of condition at some point during their lives. In addition, it would also seem that the lifespan of zoo gorilla does not exceed 30 years.
The situation is even direr, as vets have little clues on how to treat this heart-related condition. In a press interview, a vet employed at the Cincinnati Zoo declared that there is not enough research in the area of great ape heart health, and devising a proper treatment is a very hard, if not impossible.
Since they were diagnosed with the condition, both Mokolo and Bebac were treated using human high blood pressure pills. Furthermore, the zookeepers swapped their usual diet for a high-fiber diet in order to keep their condition in check.
However, it would seem that their efforts were in vain. About a month ago, Bebac fell ill and refused to move from his place in the enclosure. The vets tried every type of treatment, animal and human included, in order to save Bebac. Unfortunately, the disease ran its course, and Bebac quietly passed away in his sleep.
Bebac’s caretakers and his vets declared that the news saddened them and they regret that they couldn’t do more in order to save Mokolo’s friend.
At the moment, Mokolo is the only remaining western lowland gorilla. At the beginning of 2016, the Cincinnati Zoo had three gorilla specimens: the duo, Bebac, and Mokolo, and another gorilla called Harambe.
Unfortunately, Harambe was fatally shot after a small boy fell into the gorilla’s enclosure in late May 2016.
Image source: Wikipedia