The first gorilla born at the Pittsburgh Zoo dies
Mrithi, the first gorilla born at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium and a visitor favorite, has died, the zoo announced Thursday.
Mrithi – the name means “prince” in Swahili – was born in 1992 to parents Mimbo and Zakula. He matured into a silverback and since 2013 had sired four offspring, including Ivan, Frank, Bo and Charlotte.
“Mrithi was a wonderful father and played often with his boys,” said assistant mammal curator Karen Vacco. She said he also enjoyed rolling in the pool in his enclosure and then tumbling in the grass to dry off.
More recently, said the zoo in a statement, Mrithi began having mobility problems. After a “sudden decline” this week, he died Thursday during “an anesthetic procedure” to look into suspected spinal issues.
The zoo noted that western lowland gorilla are listed as critically endangered in their native habitat in the forests of Africa’s Congo Basin, and in the wild have a lifespan of 30 to 40 years.