ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) — Officials at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro have euthanized a 21-year-old male gorilla after he had been treated for an illness for more than a week.
Mammal curator Adrian Fowler said Nkosi, or Nik, had not been eating well and collapsed Sunday.
Fowler says the zoo’s staff worked around the clock and consulted experts from other zoos and outside medical experts and conducted a number of tests.
“We had no other choice but to euthanize on humane grounds. His situation had become terminal,” Fowler said.
An autopsy was performed Tuesday and tissue samples were being evaluated to determine what caused Nik’s illness. Fowler says it could be several weeks before the rest results are back.
Nik came to North Carolina from the Columbus, Ohio, Zoo in 2008 and is the father of two males, Bomassa and Apollo, who were born in August of last year. They were the first successful gorilla births at the zoo in more than 20 years.
The other gorillas at the zoo, including Bomassa and Apollo, their mothers Jamani and Olympia, and a third adult female, Acacia, remain in good health.