Bronx Zoo Gorilla Dies at 40; 'Pattycake' Was First Ape Born in NYC

The first gorilla born in New York City passed away at the Bronx Zoo at the age of 40 after suffering from chronic cardiac issues for years.

The gorilla, known as Pattycake, died on Sunday according to a statement from the Wildlife Conservation Society. They added that a necropsy would be performed to determine the cause of death.

"Millions of children in New York City grew up with Pattycake at the Bronx Zoo," Jim Breheny, director of the Bronx Zoo and WCS Executive Vice President and General Director of Zoos & Aquarium, said in a statement. "Pattycake was a very special animal and her presence will be deeply missed."

Pattycake was born at the Central Park Zoo on Sept. 3, 1972 and was transferred to the Bronx Zoo in 1983. Records show that she gave birth to 10 offspring during her time at the zoo and they were given to zoos in Boston, Buffalo, N.Y., Detroit, Louisville, Omaha, Neb., and Utah.

The Wildlife Conservation Society revealed that Pattycake was the 31st oldest gorilla out of 338 currently living in North American zoos.

This is the second newsworthy development a local area zoo in recent weeks after a rare giraffe was born in an animal conservatory in Connecticut.

The female calf was born March 22 to a 6-year-old Rothschild giraffe named Petal at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, according to The Greenwich Time.

The offspring, who has yet to be given an official name, stands an impressive six feet tall and is the most recent addition to the endangered giraffe subspecies.

Wildlife experts estimate that around a few hundred Rothschild giraffes are still in the wild. With so few numbers experts fear that hybridization, or the interbreeding of giraffe species, could wipe out the subspecies for good.

Marcella Leone, founder and director of LEO Zoological Conservation Center, revealed that the newborn giraffe will soon join five other giraffes in her pen and is expected to top 18 feet when she is fully grown.