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Jersey's oldest gorilla dies from cervical cancer

Kishka, Jersey Zoo's eldest gorilla, has passed away aged 45 after a battle with cervical cancer.

Kishka lived at the zoo for most of her life, since joining in 1984 aged just six years old. 

She had been battling cervical cancer since her diagnosis in 2020 and it took a turn over the past few weeks. 

We are told after a thorough review process, the difficult decision was made to put her to sleep.

Kishka as a youngster, credit: Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Kishka was the eldest of the Western Lowland Gorillas at the zoo and has left behind the rest of her troop - including Badongo, Bahasha, Hlala Kahilli and four-year-old Amari - and the staff say they will miss her very much.

Kishka pictured on her 40th birthday, credit: Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Ben Matthews - Curator of Mammals at Jersey Zoo - said:

“Losing Kishka has been incredibly sad for everyone at Durrell, especially the gorilla team.

"Over the years, Kishka was a stalwart of Jersey Zoo’s gorilla troop, taking life in her stride and at her own pace.

"She was known for her gentle temperament; acting as a stoic, matriarchal figure for many young gorillas, as well as helping to induct generations of young zookeepers into careers with great apes.”

The gorilla enclosure will be closed for several days to allow the troop to adjust to life without her.

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