by Max Brantley
RIP: JJ the LR Zoo's gorilla.
Sad news. The Little Rock Zoo's silverback gorilla, Jungle Jack, died Sunday. He had earlier been diagnosed with congestive heart failure.
The Little Rock Zoo is sad to announce the death of a male silverback western lowland gorilla, JJ, or “Jungle Jack,” who died Sunday morning in his exhibit.
Zookeepers fed JJ breakfast in the morning while the gorilla was inside and then went outside to clean exhibit yards in the great ape display. When they returned later that morning JJ was found dead.
In May of this year an echocardiogram revealed that JJ was living with congestive heart failure, a disease common in adult male great apes. According to Zoo veterinarian, Dr. Marilynn Baeyens, JJ’s heart was only working at about 10% of capacity. JJ was being treated with medication for the heart disease and had been doing well on the medication.
Although necropsy reports have not yet confirmed this, Baeyens said she suspects JJ’s heart condition caused his death.
JJ was born at the Columbus Zoo on January 2, 1987 and had been living at the Little Rock Zoo since November of 1993.