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One Of North America’s Oldest Gorillas Just Passed Away At The Toronto Zoo

She was one of the zoo's first original residents.
Toronto Staff Writer
The Toronto Zoo

Another tragedy has struck the Toronto Zoo, and it's a loss that extends well beyond just the GTA.

Josephine, a 49-year-old gorilla, passed away on Sunday, December 6, 2020, after suffering through what zookeepers described as a week of deteriorating health. 

Jo was remarkable, outliving her species' average lifespan of approximately 35 years to become of one North America's oldest living gorillas. 

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Jo would have turned 50 this year, but her legacy lives on in her offspring, one of whom, Johari, still lives here at our Zoo. It is an understatement to say we will all miss her dearly. The Toronto Zoo

"After much testing and thoroughly assessing her state, all treatable conditions in a geriatric gorilla were ruled out," the Toronto Zoo said in a Facebook post. "There were no options left to provide her with a comfortable and pain-free life, and we made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her."

Jo was one of the few original residents at the Toronto Zoo, and a revered member of her gorilla troop.

Her life has contributed greatly to scientific behavioural research at universities across Ontario.

Sadly, the tragic news comes on the heels of two other passings.

The zoo lost two of its red pandas this year, a cub and its mother.

    Patrick John Gilson
    Toronto Staff Writer
    Patrick John Gilson is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Ontario Desk focused on Ontario gas prices and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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