One of Europe′s oldest gorillas dies in German zoo | News | DW | 20.08.2018
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One of Europe's oldest gorillas dies in German zoo

One of Europe's oldest gorillas is dead. The mighty ape, named Fritz, was put to sleep at Nuremberg Zoo after becoming increasingly frail. Staff described him as "a real character" who had a weakness for raspberry jam.

A gorilla named Fritz, one of the oldest of his kind living in a European zoo, was euthanized on Monday in southern Germany.

Officials at Nuremberg Zoo said the 55-year-old's health had deteriorated steadily over the weekend — to the point where he could hardly move at all.

Not even his favorite snack of raspberry jam with quark — a kind of German curd cheese — was enough to lift his spirits, the zoo said.

Read moreThe battle to save Africa's endangered mountain gorillas

Fritz was born in Cameroon in 1963. He was given to the facility at Nuremberg in 1970, officials said, adding that he had been a real character.

Read moreGorilla population in Africa rises

He fathered six offspring — two females and four males — and has 14 great-great-grandchildren living all over Europe.

Gorillas in the wild usually live to between 35 and 40 years of age, although zoo gorillas may live for 50 years or more.

The oldest known gorilla in Europe, a female named Fatou resides at the Berlin Zoo and celebrated her 61st birthday in April.

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