Matriarch gorilla Josephine has died after suffering from long-term health problems.
On Wednesday, the Miami zoo which has been the home for 49-year-old Josephine since her birth in 1967 announced her death. She was the grandmother of Harambe, the internet sensational gorilla who also suffered an ill fated death.
Harambe made national news in May 2016, when zoo staffers at the Cincinnati Zoo shot and killed him after a child fell into the gorilla enclosure. The event caused considerable outrage, and memorializing the deceased gorilla consequently became one of 2016’s most pervasive memes.
It was reported on their facebook page that in the morning to her death, Josephine "could hardly move, even to reach for her favorite treat," and the staff of the zoo knew it was time.
“They made the very difficult decision to humanely euthanize her. That procedure was successfully performed this afternoon.”
According to the zoo, Josephine was nearly 50 years old at the time of her death, which is old age for a gorilla, and had been suffering from long-term health problems.
Josephine gave birth to her first offspring, Moja, a male gorilla, in 1984, reports the Miami Herald. Moja went on to father Harambe.
“A variety of exams and tests performed over the last several days showed several abnormalities that indicated systemic terminal conditions that had no chance for positive outcomes or hope for recovery,” the zoo wrote on Facebook.
In the wake of Josephine’s death, we wish the Miami zoo (and all of their social media accounts) the best of luck. But while the internet churns out more unhelpful memes, remember that there are more effective ways to support gorillas and animal conservation.
Culled from HuffPost