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Oklahoma City Zoo announces death of silverback gorilla

Posted at 10:59 AM, Jun 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-20 11:59:05-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma City Zoo says a 41-year-old silverback gorilla named Tatu has been euthanized because of ongoing health problems.

The zoo says Tatu's health had been declining for several weeks and his appetite had decreased. Last week, the Western lowland gorilla suddenly lost the ability to use his legs, and an MRI showed compression on his spinal cord, which was caused by severe arthritis.

The zoo says a vet care team consulted with a spinal surgeon before deciding to euthanize Tatu on Saturday.

The zoo says Tatu's death is "an enormous loss." The gorilla arrived at the zoo in 1983.

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