Harambe’s grandmother, Josephine, was euthanized at the age of 49 after tests showed “several abnormalities that indicated systemic terminal conditions,” the zoo said on Facebook Wednesday.
Josephine, the matriarch gorilla at the zoo, “had been suffering from several health issues that slowly incapacitated her and could not be treated with positive results due to her advanced age,” the post read.
“This morning, when Josephine could hardly move, even to reach for her favorite treat, the staff knew the right thing to do,” the post read. “They made the very difficult decision to humanely euthanize her.”
Josephine was born in the wild and arrived at the Florida zoo in 1984. She became nearly blind due to cataracts and had two artificial human lenses implanted in 2009.
Josephine was thepaternal grandmother of Harambe, the 17-year-old western lowland gorilla killed at the Cincinnati Zoo last spring after a 3-year-old boy fell into his habitat.
The loss of Josephine is particularly felt, the zoo said, after Binti, a 34-year-old chimpanzee recently died due to a blood clot.