Oklahoma City Zoo mourns passing of beloved silverback gorilla

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OKLAHOMA CITY- The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden lost Tatu, the 41-year-old silverback gorilla.

His health began to decline in late April and he sadly passed away Saturday afternoon.

Tatu’s death is not only a loss for Oklahoma City, but also to the Western lowland gorilla species of central and western Africa, which are severely endangered in the wild.

Tatu came to OKC in 1983, when he was eight years old.

He quickly became of favorite of visitors and was the icon of the Great EscApe exhibit.

Tatu fathered several offspring, including twins born in 1999 and had a grandson born at the Fort Worth Zoo last year.

Most recently, Tatu had been the leader of the Great EscApe's "bachelor troop" which included three other males- George, Bouendje (Bo), and Bakari.