Dublin Zoo’s Harry the gorilla (29) dies after short illness

Zoo says western lowland was ‘gentle and calm and will be greatly missed’

The late Harry the gorilla, who died at Dublin Zoo on Sunday after a short illness. Photograph: Dublin Zoo

The late Harry the gorilla, who died at Dublin Zoo on Sunday after a short illness. Photograph: Dublin Zoo

 

One of Dublin Zoo’s favourite visitor attractions, Harry the gorilla, has died.

The zoo confirmed the “very sad news” on its Facebook page on Monday and said the western lowland gorilla had died on Sunday after a short illness. He was 29 years old and had fathered six offspring during his time at the zoo.

Known as the “silverback” he was the leader of the gorilla troop.

“Harry was a very gentle and calm gorilla and he will be greatly missed by everyone at Dublin Zoo,” the statement said.

It added that the exact reason for Harry’s death was still unknown and said the final results of a postmortem were awaited.

Harry, born in 1986, is described on the zoo’s website as a “ handsome silverback and a wonderful leader”.

“Everyone in the small troop looks up to him. He always keeps a watchful eye on what they are doing and he’ll keep an eye on you too! He is a proud father and makes time to interact with his three sons, Alf, Evindi and Kituba.”

Lena, born in 1984, is mother to the three male gorillas.

Dublin Zoo says it has maintained western lowland gorillas for many years and is home to a breeding group of seven of the animals.

They can be observed in the Gorilla Rainforest at the Phoenix Park-based zoo on the north side of the capital.

Dublin zoo says, however, that discovering them requires patience and that at least a half an hour is needed to explore the gorilla rainforest.