ATLANTA -- Just three weeks after losing one beloved gorilla, Atlanta's zoo is mourning the death of a second geriatric ape.
Zoo Atlanta says Ivan never regained consciousness after being put under general anesthesia Monday for a diagnostic assessment. The zoo says the 50-year-old ape had recently lost weight, seemed to lack appetite and had a respiratory illness.
Late last month, the zoo euthanized a fellow western lowland gorilla named Joe. The 49 year old had suffered a decline in health and host of chronic problems, including heart disease.
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Ivan had lived at Zoo Atlanta since 1994.
He was born in the wild around 1962 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Wildlife traders sold him to the owners of a department store in Tacoma, Wash., in 1964. Three years later, he was moved to an indoor enclosure at the store.
Facing pressure from zoological and animal rights communities, the store in 1994 donated Ivan to a zoo in Seattle, which transferred him to Atlanta.