Kwashi, a 30-year-old silverback gorilla, died at the Cincinnati Zoo this week. Photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo.
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Silverback gorilla, 30, dies at Cincinnati Zoo

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CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Zoo announced the death of 30-year-old silverback gorilla "Kwashi" on Tuesday night.

According to zoo officials, the staff noticed changes in the 320-pound animal's eating habits on Sunday. Kwashi was eating and drinking less, which concerned the vet staff. After an evaluation, human physicians and technicians were called to the zoo for an emergency visit and found his heart rate and temperature were extremely low. He passed away shortly after attempts were made to get fluids in him.

On Tuesday a necropsy was performed which determined Kwashi died from an abdominal infection.

"Kwashi, like all gorillas, was a unique individual with a quiet and timid personality," said Thane Maynard, executive director at the Cincinnati Zoo. "He will be sorely missed not only by all of us that worked with him and loved him, but also by our passionate community of Zoo lovers and his gorilla family."

Kwashi was born at the Memphis Zoo on May 16, 1982 and came to Cincinnati in 2010. He was one of the Cincinnati Zoo's seven Western lowland gorillas, which are critically endangered species due to habitat destruction and bushmeat trade.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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