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Kansas City Zoo mourns death of 'Curtis the gorilla'

Curtis the gorilla
Curtis the Gorilla
Posted at 2:20 PM, Oct 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-10 15:20:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Zoo is mourning the loss of one of its gorillas after it was euthanized due to congestive heart failure on Oct. 1, the zoo announced Monday.

Curtis, the western lowland gorilla, lived to be 28-years-old.

"Curtis gave his illness a great fight and will be dearly missed by his Zoo family," a release from the Zoo said.

He arrived to Kansas City with his brother Charlie in March 2020. The KC Zoo says that Curtis "won the hearts of everyone that met him" and that he was "easy-going and inquisitive."

In 2021, Curtis received a blood transfusion from Charlie after a life-threatening hemorrhage was located on his left kidney. In the following months, Curtis received a second blood transfusion and had the kidney removed as an attempted life-saving procedure.

Both gorillas recovered after the 2021 procedures.

The zoo says to its knowledge, Curtis is the only great ape to live with a single kidney, and have two blood transfusions.

"While the entire Zoo family mourns the loss of Curtis, we take comfort knowing that not only was he an extraordinary gorilla, but the groundbreaking care that he received at the Kansas City Zoo will help many other animals in the future," the KC Zoo said.

The release also says that even on days when Curtis was not feeling well due to health complications, he was gentle, trusting and gave a "happy grumble" towards visitors.

The zoo also says Curtis was skilled at training and enjoyed painting, carefully picking the colors he painted with, which often included green.

"Curtis gave his illness a great fight and everything that was learned from his situation will be passed on to other facilities, which gives his Zoo family great comfort," a Kansas City Zoo spokesperson said.