Very sad news that Anju, Elle’s mom, passed away yesterday from heart failure. She became lethargic and gained a lot of weight at the end of November. An ultrasound revealed that she had a congenital, terminal heart condition. The animal care staff did everything they could to treat her symptoms and keep her comfortable. Gorillas and humans share 98% of the same DNA and are similar in many ways. One commonality is that the number one cause of mortality is the same for both, heart disease. Young females, such as 16-year-old Anju, are not in the high-risk category and her congenital abnormality was odd for a gorilla and totally unexpected. “This is a devastating loss for us. Prior to becoming symptomatic a couple of months ago, Anju had a normal appetite and was taking great care of her two-year-old daughter Elle,” said Ron Evans, Cincinnati Zoo curator of primates.
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The Zoo started thinking about a plan for 2-year-old Elle as soon as her mom was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Elle is strong and well established in a group of three experienced mothers including one adoptive mother. She has two age-related siblings, Mona and Gladys, that she is very tight with and a super silverback, Jomo, for a father. The gorilla team is focusing on helping her make a smooth transition.
Michelle Francisco I'm sorry for the loss of Anju….she was a truly Magnificent Gorilla and Beautiful Mom. My Heart goes out to y'all and pretty little Elle. I'm happy Elle has a good Family to help her through. I Love Gorillas, they are extraordinary….Many hugs, prayers and Much love from My Heart to y'alls.
Karen Spark's Had sad to hear this. I hope elle will be alright. Thank you for all you do. This is a remarkable zoo.
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