AboutZoos, Since 2008


Gorilla hangs him­self acci­den­tally in Prague Zoo

pub­lished 31 July 2012 | mod­i­fied 04 Decem­ber 2012

A gorilla has died in the Prague Zoo after acci­den­tally hang­ing him­self with a climb­ing rope, zoo offi­cials said Fri­day. The zoo said in a state­ment that 5-​year-​old Tatu was found hang­ing with a rope around his neck Fri­day morn­ing in a sleep­ing room. Spokesman Michal Stastny said all attempts to revive Tatu failed. He said there were no cam­eras in the room and it is not clear exactly what happened.

Tatu gorilla pragueMam­mals cura­tor Pavel Brandl said Tatu likely unbraided one of the dozens ropes the goril­las use in their pavil­ion for climb­ing and put a strand around his neck before hang­ing himself.

“It was an acci­dent,” Brandl said. He said the ropes are checked daily. Brandl said another gorilla, Kamba, appeared to be try­ing to help Tatu when zookeep­ers arrived but “it’s hard to say what exactly she was doing.”

Direc­tor Miroslav Bobek said the death was the most tragic event at the zoo since flood­ing in 2002 killed more than 100 ani­mals. The zoo still has six goril­las, and they are among the most pop­u­lar ani­mals there. Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple watched Tatu’s birth online on May 30, 2007.

Watch Tatu (3 years old) gen­tly inter­act with his baby brother Kiburi (cred­its ‘gorillaphile’):


Tatu was born in Zoo Prague on 30th May 2007 to female Kijiva and male Richard. His name means the sec­ond. He was the sec­ond off­spring of his par­ents as well as the sec­ond gorilla baby kept in the Czech Repub­lic and Slo­va­kia.

Since the begin­ning, Tatu behaved like a lively and curi­ous baby. In com­par­i­son with the first-​born Moja, he sooner ven­tured from the secu­rity of his mother’s arms and back on which babies are car­ried. Moja encour­age her younger brother to play while she spent most of the time with Kamba, the old­est female of the group, who became a grand­mother to the youngest ones.

Also Tatu later on resorted to Kamba. This was at the end of April 2010 when the last Kijiva’s baby, the male Kiburi, was born. Since then, Tatu spent most of his time with Kamba.

Thanks to his adven­tur­ous spirit, Tatu kept the whole fam­ily active because he pro­voked to play not only other baby goril­las but also adults. It was Tatu, who started pay­ing increased atten­tion to female Bikira, who was until then rather an out­sider to the group. He started rid­ing on her back and helped her to become closer with the fam­ily.

Tatu died acci­den­tally in the morn­ing on 27th July 2012.

The above news item is reprinted from mate­ri­als avail­able at The Huff­in­g­ton Post and Por­tal of Prague. Orig­i­nal text may be edited for con­tent and length.

(Source: HUFF­POST Green, 27.07.2012; Por­tal of Prague, 31.07.2012)

UN Biodiversity decade
WWF Stop Wildlife Crime
Fight for Flight campaign
End Ivory-funded Terrorism
Support Rewilding Europe
NASA State of Flux

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
Fol­low me on: