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Zura, beautiful and sassy gorilla of San Francisco Zoo, dies at 39

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 11/21/2020 Tim Balk

After delighting visitors to the San Francisco Zoo for nearly four decades, the beautiful and beloved gorilla called Zura has died, the park said Friday. The western lowland gorilla was 39.

“Her beautiful, distinctive face & sassy personality will truly be missed,” the San Francisco Zoo tweeted, attaching an image of the fan-favorite animal, her mouth curled into a smile.

Zura was born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in 1981. A year later, she relocated from Ohio to the Golden State.

Zoo officials said Zura was receiving treatment for digestive difficulties prior to her death, and that the gorilla’s condition had deteriorated recently, according to KGO-TV.


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The local news station reported that zoo staff recalled favored activities of the gorilla included bubbles and blown “snow.”

a close up of an animal: Zura, a 39-year-old western lowland gorilla, has died in California. © Marianne V. Hale Zura, a 39-year-old western lowland gorilla, has died in California.

Zura, a 39-year-old western lowland gorilla, has died in California. (Marianne V. Hale/)

Zura’s grandmother, Colo, is thought to be the first gorilla in the world to be born into captivity.

Zura never had offspring. She leaves behind four gorilla friends in her enclosure — one male silverback gorilla and a trio of western lowland gorillas.

“She was a favorite for generations of families & animal care staff alike,” the zoo tweeted.

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