Longleat Safari Park Gorilla Nico Dies At 56

Nico, one of the world's oldest silverback gorillas, has died aged 56.

He had lived at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire since the 1980s. His body was found on Sunday after he died in his sleep. The park is currently closed for winter.

Nico had his own lodgings on an island in the middle of a lake, complete with central heating and a TV. He also had a number of 'lookout' points, climbing frames and a giant tree trunk where he could sit and watch the younger gorillas play. Three other gorillas, brothers Kesho, Evindi and Alf lived in the same enclosure.

He moved to the UK from Switzerland, and weighed a hefty 34 stone.

He celebrated his 56th birthday last summer, with a cake made of bananas and courgettes with carrot candles. However, his keepers were never 100 percent certain on his age, and the silverback gorilla may have been even older than 56.

A spokesperson from the safari park said: "It is with deep regret and huge sadness that we have to announce the death of Nico, our much-loved western lowland gorilla."

The spokesperson added that Nico's keeper was 'devastated' following the death, having worked 'with Nico on a daily basis since 1989'.

They continued: "It goes without saying that he is particularly devastated by the loss along with the rest of his keeping team who have cared for Nico over the years."

The safari park posted on Facebook to ask people to 'join in celebrating the life of such a magnificent creature', by sharing photographs and memories of the gorilla. It has since been flooded with posts from people passing on their condolences and posting photos they'd taken of Nico.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

The oldest male gorilla in the world lives in the US and was born in 1961. The oldest female was born in 1956 and also lives in the States.

Featured Image Credit: Longleat Safari Park/Facebook

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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