Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

First gorilla born in captivity in Europe dies in Basel Zoo

Share this article

First gorilla born in captivity in Europe dies in Basel Zoo
Photo: Basel Zoo
11:38 CEST+02:00
Goma, the first gorilla to be born in a European zoo, has died aged 58 in Basel.

Basel Zoo reported on Friday that the female ape had died of old age surrounded by her family.

Apart from the usual signs of old age there was nothing wrong with her and until recently she was in robust health, the zoo said.

Loved by a generation of Basel residents, Goma was born in the city zoo in 1959 and was initially raised by the family of then zoo director Ernst Lang as it was feared her inexperienced mother would not care for her properly.

Goma as a baby. Photo: Basel Zoo

When she was around one year old, Goma got company in the shape of Pepe, a male of the same age.

Later, both were returned to the family group.

Goma gave birth to her only child, Tamtam, in 1971 and managed to raise him herself without human assistance.

In 2009 the zoo held a party to celebrate Goma’s 50th birthday.

Because of her unusual childhood Goma had a strong attachment to people, the zoo said, and was for a long time an outsider in her group.

But in her last two decades she became more integrated in family life, and by the end of her life was “a contented and caring grandmother”.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

Make this small Mediterranean capital your next city break

Valletta, Malta’s small but mighty capital, still feels like one of the Med’s undiscovered gems. But it won’t stay that way for long. The Local’s commercial editor, Sophie Miskiw, explored this year’s Capital of Culture and can’t wait to go back.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement