Local News

Gorilla Born in Louisville Dies at Columbus Zoo

The one-year-old gorilla Misha (Mee-sha), who was born at the Louisville Zoo, died today at the Columbus Zoo.

Misha had been in intensive care since the staff noticed flu-like symptoms on March 3.  Exploratory surgery on March 16 revealed she had a perforated bowl; probably due to an intestinal infection. Although the problem was repaired Thursday, Misha died a few hours after surgery.

Misha was born in Louisville on February 6, 2010; but a fight between other gorillas resulted in the loss of part of her left leg.  She was moved to Columbus shortly afterwards. Zoo officials said at the time Misha would receive the best care at the Columbus Zoo.

For more information on Misha here is a link to a past article:

Local News

Timmy the Gorilla Turns 50

The Louisville Zoo will hold a birthday party today for Timmy the gorilla, who turns 50. Timmy moved to Louisville in 2004 from the Bronx Zoo. He is a silverback leader and has three females in his group.

Cynthia Cole is a keep at the zoo’s Gorilla Forest. She says Timmy sometimes has to keep the peace in the community.

“He does it with – usually he doesn’t have to do much to calm everything down,” says Cole. “He does his job well and also interacts with the females, and you’ll see them all in a big gorilla pile in the corner, or everybody sitting in the same room. They just enjoy each other’s company as gorillas go.”

Cole says life expectancy for a silverback leader in the wild is about thirty years. Timmy is the oldest living male gorilla in North America.

For today’s birthday party, the gorillas will be served an ice sculpture with some of their favorite foods inside.

“They’re very food motivated, and Tim is definitely one of them,” says Cole. “The females in his group are probably going to get the biggest kick out of jumping on the ice and doing stuff with it. But he will definitely enjoy the food that is put inside the ice, I’m sure he’ll be able to get a couple pieces of that.”

Cole says Gorilla Forest will also celebrate by playing with a piñata. The party starts this morning at eleven.

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Oldest Male Gorilla in N. America Turns 50

Timmy, the Louisville Zoo’s western lowland gorilla, has led a pretty good life, considering. He’s got a posse of females, a dependable food supply, adoring fans. And he doesn’t have to worry about hunters, loggers, or the ebola virus, all of which are endangering his brethren in central Africa. Timmy is the oldest male gorilla in North America; he lives at the Louisville Zoo.

A new outbreak of ebola, the horrifying hemorrhagic fever, has just been confirmed in Congo, part of the gorillas’ range. It’s not likely a gorilla could catch the disease from a human, but the disease has been found in the animals. Slaughtering them for bush meat could help spread the disease.

You can learn more about Timmy this Sunday on Studio 619; that’s when host Stephanie Sanders talks with Timmy’s keeper.

You can also efforts to protect gorillas at the World Wildlife Fund’s web site, ; learn more about the ebola outbreak and how health workers are trying to contain it at Doctors without Borders’ site.

Local News

44-Year-Old Gorilla Dies at Louisville Zoo

For the second time this week, zookeepers at the Louisville Zoo have euthanized an animal. This time it’s Frank, a 44-year-old silverback gorilla, who had suffered from heart disease, high blood pressure and chronic arthritis. Frank was found unable move Thursday and was later euthanized.

Zoo Curator Steve Wing says Frank came to Louisville from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago in 2002.

“I think what was especially unique about him is that he was especially good with kids,” says Wing. “Both with his own kids and other offspring that needed to be fostered into his group. He actually would play with the young gorillas, they would ride on his back.”

On Monday, zoo officials euthanized three-year-old giraffe Zahara. She’d suffered from chronic spinal problems.