The zoo’s statement said the veterinary staff “has been closely monitoring Chumba in recent days after a marked decrease in her physical condition due to advanced arthritis and other age-related complications.”
“Due to her poor prognosis and with concern for her comfort and quality of life, the teams made the very difficult decision to euthanize her,” the statement said.
Chumba arrived at the Atlanta Zoo in the 1980s and was the mother of four generations of gorillas, the zoo’s statement said.
Chumba was the mother of Mashi, Kudzu and Sukari. All of them still live in the zoo. “Her grandchildren are great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren living in certified zoos across the United States,” the statement said.
“Chumba was living in a large social group with Ozzy, who is 61 years old and is the largest living male gorilla in the world,” the zoo said.
“This is a very difficult day for Zoo Atlanta and especially for the Choomba care team, who knew her closely, saw her and cared for her daily with the utmost dedication,” said Jennifer Meckleberg, PhD, vice president of collections and conservation at the zoo.
“Chumba left a tremendous legacy at Zoo Atlanta, in the North American gorilla community, and in the hearts of those who know her best,” Meckleberg said.