Atlanta, GA, May 6, 2004:
In a break from our coverage of media and land takeover threats in
Fupppsylvania, it is with great sadness that we report the death
of the gentle giant, Caesar, the silverback gorilla. In fine health just minutes before he was found
in his room at Zoo Atlanta,
it may be that Caesar's respiratory infection, from
which keepers thought had recovered fully, got the best of him.
However, his death may have been caused by other problems; the
zoo will be conducting examinations to determine what happened.
Silverbacks ordinarily live well into their 30's. Caesar had
some health problems last year, which involved his respiratory
system, but he was treated and found to be well in his exams before
he was moved and after arrival in Atlanta.
You may recall our
Caesar, March 27, "Gorilla Comes
out of the Closet." We wrote about how the 26 year old
male, who had been childless, was shipped from the L.A. Zoo to Zoo
Atlanta, with keepers hoping for offspring. Unfortunately for
them, Caesar did not mate there either. We wondered how the staff
could ignore his obvious attraction for those of the same sex.
Signals were blatant, we felt. We asked you, our visitors, to
vote on whether he should be allowed to wed the boy of his dreams,
and overwhelmingly you said, "Hail, Caesar!" (See
this point, our only concern is that Caesar be granted peace and the
mate of his choice in the next world. The humans at both zoos
were inordinately fond of him, even if they didn't understand his
proclivities. An article in the L.A. Times May 5 reports that one of
the staff occasionally would toss him an orange, which he would
catch with the "skill of a shortstop." There was clearly much
affection in both directions, human to gorilla and vice versa.
We wish the zoo staffs, and all the friends
Caesar had made
in both gorilla compounds, peace at this time as well.
FUPPPS Editorial Board