Kassiu, The Baby Gorilla Died Wednesday

MILWAUKEE -- The baby gorilla born on March 19, less than a month ago at the Milwaukee County Zoo, unexpectedly died Wednesday.

Kassiu, was born to 13-year-old mother Naku and 27-year-old father Cassius.

Western lowland gorilla's born in captivity are not common. In fact, the primate, is also on the endangered species list, so when Kassiu was born, it made national headlines, and the staff at the zoo very pleased.


But after nearly a month, the baby fell ill Wednesday afternoon, . Kassiu appeared weak and stopped holding onto her mother, as is normal for newborn gorillas.


Kassiu was transferred to the zoo's medical center, examined, and given fluids, glucose and antibiotics. But despite help from a neonatologist and a pediatrician, Kassiu died Wednesday evening.


Although staff tells CBS 58 that Kassiu's death is not exactly known, they say it's not uncommon for newborn's of any species to die during the first few months. Despite nursing well, and excellent care from keepers, it's also possible that Kassiu may have contracted an unknown disease.


The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine performed a complete animal autopsy Thursday.


Preliminary results may shed some light on why Kassiu died unexpectedly. Those results are expected within the next couple of days, but a complete report may take several months, depending on the cause of death.


Kassiu is the first gorilla born at The Milwaukee County Zoo since 1992.

Share this article: