EXPIRED: 11/07/09 – M’Bili, 17, was a Lowland gorilla who never lived as long as he should have.

Although he was born in the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and lived at the San Diego Zoo for about 10 years, he spent his last 7 years, 8 months at the Topeka Zoo in Kansas.

M’Bili was the second gorilla in four years to die at the Topeka Zoo before its typical life expectancy, which is 40 to 50 years. M’Bili was taken by zoo staff to the Kansas State University School of Veterinary Medicine, where a necropsy was being conducted. An aneurism is suspected.

But his death is troubling.

In October 2005, a gorilla named Kuba died after zoo workers shot it with a tranquilizer dart as it was being prepared to be relocated.

Earlier this year Peka Sue, a 47-year-old Nile River hippopotamus, died, although this animal seemed to have lived a normal lifespan. However, in 2006 another hippo died due to being left in 108-degree water.

M’Bili’s death came at a time when the Association of Zoos and Aquariums recently agreed to conduct an independent, top-down review of the Topeka Zoo.

Tiffany, 41, is the only remaining Lowland  gorilla at the zoo, and must be thinking “too little too late.”



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