India’s only gorilla, Polo, died at the Mysore Zoo on Saturday night due to respiratory infection and age-related ailments. He was 42. The average life expectancy of a gorilla is between 35 and 40 years.
The Western Lowland gorilla was born in 1972 and was received by the Mysore Zoo from the Dublin Zoo in Ireland on August 12, 1995, zoo sources said.
Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens executive director B P Ravi said for the past one month Polo’s health had deteriorated and he was constantly monitored. Dr Sunder Raj, a vet who used to monitor Polo, said, “Polo’s food intake had reduced over the last 15 days, and he had become less active. His condition worsened with respiratory dyspnea and hurried thoracic respiration. Dyspnea and open-mouth respiration could be due to a respiratory tract infection. We had advised injectable antibiotics.”
“He was given vitamin supplements, to which he showed some improvement. Zinc, iron, antibiotics and painkillers were given in milk, tea and juices, but he was reluctant to take drugs orally,” Ravi said.
“Tranquillising Polo at his age was risky. A physical examination and sample collection for laboratory analysis were not possible. His urine was examined twice, but there were no abnormalities.”