SAN DIEGO – One of the longest living gorilla in the world died in a zoo in Southern California.
Vila, an African female who turned 60 in October, died Thursday surrounded by members of her family group, reported the Safari Park of the San Diego Zoo.
She was the matriarch of five generations of gorillas and during her life she played the role of surrogate mother to several gorillas of the western subspecies, authorities reported.
Gorillas usually live from 35 to 40 years.
They are considered to be in serious danger of extinction due to diseases, hunting, wars and the loss of their habitat.
Vila suffered from arthritis and other health problems related to her age and was under veterinary care.
Born in the Congo in 1957, she arrived at the zoo two years later and was transferred to the open area of the park in 1975.