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Longleat Safari Park: Gorilla Nico dies aged 56

NicoImage copyrightLongleat Safari Park
Image caption Nico died in his sleep on 7 January

One of the world’s oldest silverback male gorillas has died at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.

Nico, 56, died in his sleep on 7 January and staff at the park say they are “truly saddened”.

A spokesman said: “It is with deep regret and huge sadness that we have to announce the death of Nico, our much-loved western lowland gorilla.

Longleat Safari Park: Gorilla Nico dies aged 56
Longleat Safari Park: Gorilla Nico dies aged 56

“His main keeper has been working with Nico… since 1989 and has forged an extraordinarily close bond with him.”

He added: “It goes without saying that he is particularly devastated by the loss along with the rest of his keeping team who have cared for Nico over the years.”

On his 56th birthday last July, Nico’s keepers gave him a cake made from bananas and courgettes with carrot candles.

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