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Popular Gorilla Dies At OKC Zoo

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Bom Bom, a Western lowland silverback gorilla, died Monday at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Bom Bom, a Western lowland silverback gorilla, died Monday at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma City Zoo announced Tuesday that a 36-year-old silverback gorilla died of heart disease.

Bom Bom died Monday after going into cardiac arrest. The gorilla was diagnosed in 2010 with heart disease and had been on medication since that time to alleviate his symptoms.

"Bom Bom was such a magnificent animal, his loss will be felt by our entire zoo family," zoo Executive Director Dwight Scott said.

The zoo says Bom Bom was the leader of one of two troops of Western lowland gorillas. He first arrived at the zoo in 2002 from a zoo in New Orleans. He sired two offspring, including a son, George, that still resides at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

According to zookeepers, cardiac disease is a major cause of death for adult gorillas. The Oklahoma City Zoo participates in a study that helps identify risk factors for gorillas in zoo populations. According to Dallas Zoo Conservation Education and Science, Western lowland gorillas have an average life span of 50 years in captivity, and 35 years in the wild.

Share your memories and photos of Bom Bom on the Oklahoma City Zoo's Facebook page.

3/30/2012 Related Story: Popular Lion Dies At Oklahoma City Zoo

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