Zoo Miami announces death of matriarch gorilla ‘Josephine’

(Source: Zoo Miami)

MIAMI, Fla. (WFLA) – Zoo Miami announced the death of their matriarch gorilla Josephine Wednesday afternoon.

The zoo said the nearly 50-year-old gorilla had been suffering from several health issues that had incapacitated her.    None could be treated due to her advanced age.

Josephine could hardly move Wednesday morning, even for her favorite treat.

The zoo staff then made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her.  The procedure was performed Wednesday afternoon.

Josephine arrived at Zoo Miami in March of 1983 on loan from the National Institute of Health and was officially donated in January of 2000.

She received cataract surgery and had two artificial human lenses implanted in her eyes after becoming practically blind.  The surgery was historic for the zoo.

“Binti,” a 34-year-old gorilla died of a blood clot earlier in January.  She was the first chimpanzee born at Zoo Miami.

Fredrika, a 42-year-old female, is the only gorilla that remains at Zoo Miami and will most likely be transferred to another institution so she can socialize.

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