A Twig May Have Taken Down the Zoo’s Mighty Jabari

Zoo officials are still reeling after the unexpected death of their iconic, 28-year-old male western lowland gorilla, Jabari early last month. Today, though, those same officials released necropsy results in the zoo favorite’s death.

Jabari, a king among gorillas at the zoo’s exhibit, evidently passed away from complications stemming from a small wound inflicted on the back of his tongue by an obstruction like a small twig. The combination of Jabari’s swollen throat the anesthesia drugs he was administered for a routine procedure caused the gorilla to stop breathing, ultimately resulting in suffocation.

At the time of his death, officials were looking at breeding Jabari with 14-year-old Kira, but instead she is one of the gorilla’s few survivors, along with female gorilla Honi and “bachelors” Kuchimba and Louis. At least check, Kira was not pregnant.

Luckily, though, the Jabari bloodline has not yet run out: Louis, a 14-year-old born at the zoo, remains strong and healthy as Jabari’s progeny.