26 October 2019

Our silverback gorilla, Kumbuka, sadly passed away on Friday 25 October 2019. 

Working closely with Kumbuka every day, our keepers had noticed that he was unwell – he was uncharacteristically off his food and drink, appearing lethargic and not as eager to play with his family troop as usual.

Following close observation from the veterinary team, the decision was made to give Kumbuka a general anaesthetic so that the team could get a better understanding of what was making him unwell.

Once anaesthetised, and with the support of specialist doctors from University College Hospital and Guys and St Thomas’ in London, our vets could see that Kumbuka had an infection which required surgery to further investigate. Sadly this revealed that the infection was severe and widespread, and that the kindest, and only, option was to not bring him round from the anaesthesia.

We will all remember Kumbuka as a larger than life character, a devoted father of two and proud leader of the Zoo’s troop. He will be sorely missed by those who worked with him every day, and by our many visitors who were so impressed by his sheer presence – we’ll look back fondly on our charismatic, gentle giant.

Our team will now focus on ensuring the females and infants, all of whom appear healthy and well, remain settled over the coming days.