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New Zealand's youngest gorilla dies at Christchurch wildlife park

Christchurch’s Orana Wildlife Park is mourning the death of its youngest gorilla, one of only a handful in New Zealand. 

Mahali was Orana Wildlife Park's youngest gorilla. Source: Orana Wildlife Park

Mahali, who arrived in 2015 alongside his half-brothers Fataki and Fuzu, had been unwell for the past two weeks before his death this morning.

The park’s animal management and veterinary staff had implemented a treatment plan for the gorilla but an ultrasound yesterday had revealed a large growth on his abdomen.

 “We are devastated to announce that Mahali, our youngest gorilla, sadly passed away this morning surrounded by his dedicated keepers,” Orana Wildlife Park shared. 

“Mahali will be sorely missed by our team who considered it an absolute privilege to work with such a beautiful and amazing animal.” 

The park’s western lowland gorillas, which are critically endangered, are part of an international zoo-based breeding programme.