Zoo Miami announces death of Harambe’s grandmother, Josephine

Josephine (Zoo Miami photo)
Josephine (Zoo Miami photo)

MIAMI, FL (WCMH) — Zoo Miami announced Wednesday the loss of its matriarch gorilla, Josephine.

Josephine was born in the wild in March 1967. She arrived at Zoo Miami in 1983 and gave birth to Moja, the first gorilla born in Miami.

Moja was the father of Harambe, the gorilla that was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2016.

In 2009, Josephine had cataract surgery and had two artificial human lenses implanted to restore her sight.

More recently, the nearly 50-year-old great ape had been suffering from several health issues that slowly incapacitated her and could not be treated with positive results due to her advanced age. A variety of exams and tests performed over the last several days showed several abnormalities that indicated systemic terminal conditions that had no chance for positive outcomes or hope for recovery.

Wednesday morning, zoo staff made the very difficult decision to humanely euthanize her. That procedure was successfully performed this afternoon.

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