Calgary Zoo gorilla dies after struggle with cancer

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Gorilla mom, Kioja, (left) and her offspring, Kimani (right). (Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo - image credit)
Gorilla mom, Kioja, (left) and her offspring, Kimani (right). (Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo - image credit)

The Calgary Zoo/Wilder Institute announced on Wednesday that Kimani, a six-year-old western lowland gorilla, has died.

"We are heartbroken to share that our Animal Care, Health & Welfare (ACHW) team made the difficult but compassionate decision to euthanize our beloved … Kimani this morning," wrote the zoo on its website.

The gorilla had been suffering from a very serious form of pediatric liver cancer that was affecting her liver and lungs, and the support tissue for her heart, esophagus and blood vessels.

"Sadly, her condition deteriorated to the point we were no longer able to maintain her quality of life."

The zoo said that palliative care provided by it's ACHW team allowed the rest of the gorilla troop time to say goodbye to Kimani.

The African Rainforest Building was closed Wednesday to give the troop privacy.

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