How did Evelyn die? Oldest gorilla at Los Angeles zoo, cause of death explained


How did Evelyn die Oldest gorilla at Los Angeles zoo, cause of death explained

The LA Zoo’s oldest gorilla, Evelyn, is slated for execution. Let’s see How Evelyn died and what happened to the gorilla in detail.


Evelyn LA Zoo’s oldest gorilla

Evelyn was the oldest gorilla in the L.A. Zoo’s history, which is a true testament to the incredible care provided to her by our animal care and veterinary teams.

Zoo officials said that Evelyn lived such a long life because of the good care taken of her. Most western lowland gorillas live to 30 or 40 in the wild, officials said.

Evelyn lived her whole life at the zoo since her birth in 1976. She even attempted a daring escape from the gorilla compound in 2000.

“For about an hour and 15 minutes, Evelyn, who was born in the zoo, poked flowers, swatted at butterflies, played hide and seek with anxious zoo keepers, and even went for a stroll to see orangutans, giraffes, and elephants,” according to a story in The Times from 2000.

Evelyn & Angela bonding


What happened to Evelyn?

On the Twitter thread announcing the gorilla’s passing, Tania Prebble, one of the zoo’s animal caretakers, wrote, “We are all so heartbroken by the loss of Evelyn.”

Words are inadequate to express the amount of love and joy she brought to everyone during the 46 years of her life. For me, having worked with her for the past 15 years has been a blessing. According to zoo officials, Evelyn had a “charismatic and independent personality” and was well-known for her red hair.


How did Evelyn die?

The Los Angeles Zoo’s oldest gorilla, Evelyn, has passed away. The zoo stated today that she was put to death after “experiencing health concerns leading to a reduction in her quality of life over the last number of weeks.”

Evelyn was born in 1976 at the zoo and was a native of Los Angeles. The zoo ascribed Evelyn’s longevity to the level of care provided at the facility, even though western lowland gorillas can live 30 to 40 years in the wild.

Los Angeles Zoo's oldest gorilla

She also “provided a close eye over the newest child, Angela,” according to the authorities, and “had been a fantastic family member to Kelly, N’Djia, and Rapunzel.”

An endangered subspecies of the bigger western gorilla, the western lowland gorilla is a native of the woods and swamps of central Africa.


Following Evelyn’s passing, loved ones left touching messages.

Tanya Hughes posted,

We are heartbroken to share that animal care and veterinary staff made the difficult decision to euthanize 46-year-old Evelyn the western lowland gorilla, as she had been experiencing health issues leading to a decline in her quality of life over the last couple of weeks. Evelyn was the oldest gorilla in the L.A. Zoo’s history, which is a true testament to the incredible care provided to her by our animal care and veterinary teams. In the wild, western lowland gorillas can live up to 30 or 40 years.

“We are all so deeply saddened over the loss of Evelyn,” said Animal Keeper Tania Prebble. “Words cannot describe how much love and joy she gave everyone over the 46 years of her life. Personally, working with her these last 15 years has been a blessing, and I will always cherish the one-on-one moments I had with her.

She will never be forgotten by her gorilla family, human family, nor her adoring Zoo family.” Known for her red hair and independent and charismatic personality, Evelyn has been a fixture of the L.A.

Zoo’s gorilla troop since she was born here in 1976. In recent years, she provided a watchful eye over the newest youngster, Angela, and had been a wonderful family member to Kelly, N’Djia, and Rapunzel. Please join us in honoring Evelyn by sharing some of your favorite memories, images, and stories of her here or by tagging us at @lazoo.

Leslie Sloan said,

Aww, Evelyn. She was so special. I thought I was crazy once thinking I was communicating with her. Then 2 visitors confirmed she talks (signs) with people. I have never connected with another animal that way before, or since.

I know many people hate zoos, and I feel conflicted as well. I don’t like to see them not able to be free, but I also feel some people need to see an animal to care about them and protect others in the wild. Hopefully, she wasn’t too unhappy there and is now enjoying her next life.

Russell Todd said,

She was a beautiful, majestic creature, wonderfully cared for and loved, not only by the zoom staff but by the millions of visitors that recognized her beauty, significance, and deep soul. God bless you, Evelyn. Thank you for making their world a better place. I hope you are running with a troop of Gorillas with a broad smile on your face.

Victoria H Parry

For everyone complaining about animals in zoos..remember for most in captivity there is nowhere to release them. Instead of complaining about animals IN captivity spend your energy fixing the poaching and habitat loss in the native areas this animal would and should be. Thank you, Evelyn, for showing your beauty and importance in a tough situation, being an ambassador for gorillas in the wild, and inspiring some to do something for wildlife in their lifetime

Linda Pledger posted,

My condolences on this terrible loss of Evelyn. I know when we lost our beloved Josephine at age 49 at the Toronto Zoo a few years ago I was heartbroken as your zoo and all that knew & loved Evelyn must be now. I am sure she is now in gorilla heaven with Josephine.

Gena Wellmann Gilliam said,

I haven’t had the opportunity to go to the LA Zoo since the late 1980s, but I went regularly as a child. Evelyn and I are the same age and I’m sure we grew up together. She was a lovely gorilla and she will be greatly missed.



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