5 Dollars

My life as an at-home momma of 3 amazing kids...it's kind of like shoveling snow in a blizzard.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

2nd gorilla dies at National Zoo

A year ago we were in Washington D.C. celebrating our nation's birthday while watching fireworks on the National Mall. As part of our vacation we visited the National Zoo. We saw the mother panda, Mei Xiang, just days before she gave birth to cub Tai Shan. (Tai Shan will turn 1 on July 9th.) We visited the gorillas and enjoyed watching them play. They were so fun to watch and their faces were so expressive...you could see the intelligence behind their eyes.

I was sad to learn today that both of the adult male gorillas died this weekend. Mopie, a 34-year-old male, collapsed and died Monday at the Great Ape House. The animal was found in 1998 to have a chronic disease of the heart muscle that decreased its ability to pump blood. A 23-year-old gorilla named Kuja that died Saturday was the only other adult male in National Zoo's collection of seven western lowland gorillas. A June 20 ultrasound showed that Kuja's heart muscle was unable to contract normally, and his heart's pumping capacity had diminished. Zoo officials have said one of the leading causes of death among adult male gorillas is heart disease.

Here are some pictures from our National Zoo trip last summer. I'm not sure which gorillas are pictured here, but I wanted to include them anyway.


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