Jacksonville Zoo & Garden’s oldest silverback dies at age 45

Jacksonville Zoo photo of Lash. (Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announced Thursday that its oldest silverback, named Lash, died at age 45. He would have turned 46 on Christmas Day.

Lash was receiving treatment for heart disease and arthritis by the zoo’s animal care and veterinary teams. He’d recently experienced mobility changes, and the zoo noted a change in his appetite.

At age 45, the zoo said, Lash far surpassed the median life expectancy for a male gorilla, which live an average of 33 years.

“Lash leaves a significant legacy,” the zoo writes. “He was born at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in 1976, but came to Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in 1998. He’s fathered three offspring, all of which are currently still at the Zoo: Patty (May 2015), Gandai (September 2018) and Kevin (April 2021).”

The zoo thanks the public for its support, saying he will be missed tremendously.