A female western lowland gorilla that lived at the Milwaukee County Zoo for over 30 years has died.

Femelle died from cardiac disease Dec. 12 at an estimated age of 54, according to a release from the zoo.

Jennifer Diliberti-Shea, zoo public relations coordinator, said Femelle was considered a geriatric gorilla and it can be common for older gorillas to suffer from cardiac issues. A necropsy (animal autopsy) determined the cause of death.

Femelle was born in the wild and arrived at the Milwaukee County Zoo in 1985 from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. While at her Milwaukee residence she gave birth to two offspring.

The release also said that one of her longtime keepers described Femelle as very set in her ways, but during the last few years she was more relaxed and playful. The keeper also said that she demonstrated maternal care and patience with the newest resident of the gorilla troop, Sulaiman a 2-year-old male.

"Femelle will be missed by keepers and visitors alike," the release said.

Read or Share this story: