The Franklin Park Zoo reports that Gigi, a 47-year-old lowland gorilla, was euthanized this morning after suffering from a number of health conditions that had worsened in recent days.
In May, Gigi underwent a comprehensive exam including a CT scan, liver biopsy, and ultrasound in the hopes of determining the cause of ongoing health issues. The CT scan revealed that she had renal disease and liver and uterine tumors. Both of her kidneys showed irreversible chronic degenerative change. Following the CT scan, she underwent a successful ureteral stent procedure to relieve what appeared to be a partial obstruction of urine flow. Gigi responded extremely well to the stent procedure, which greatly improved her quality of life over the past six months.
In recent months, Gigi enjoyed the opportunity to go on exhibit where she could often be seen in her favorite spots holding her favorite stuffed toy – a purple monkey with bananas printed on it. Throughout her illness she spent a lot of time behind the scenes where her care staff worked tirelessly as they closely monitored her behavior, administered medications and worked to improve her food consumption, while doting on her constantly with some of her favorite enrichment. Gigi’s favorite enrichment items included blankets, which she was often spotted carrying and making “nests” with and stuffed toys, which she would cradle and carry wherever she went. She also loved food treats including banana peels, grapes, celery, oatmeal, escarole and yogurt.
Gigi was born at the Cincinnati Zoo on July 13, 1972. She moved to Stone Zoo in 1980 and, after giving birth twice, moved to the Franklin Park Zoo in 1989, with the opening of the Tropical Forest Pavilion.
In a statement, Zoo New England CEO John Linehan added:
We hope that people will keep Gigi’s care team in their thoughts during this sad time. The staff is incredibly dedicated and attentive, and they doted on Gigi.