Farewell to Vip: Our Very Important Primate, father to Yola and charming gorilla will be greatly missed
Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo
We are sad to announce that Vip, our 42-year-old western lowland gorilla, passed away this morning. For the past few weeks, the male gorilla had been lethargic and not eating well. A recent immobilization and examination did not reveal anything significant.Vip was renowned as the first zoo gorilla born in the Netherlands. Named for being a Very Important Primate, the male ape had seven daughters, including 5-year-old Yola and 13-year-old Uzumma, who is the mother of 1-year-old Kitoko. Vip lived at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston before moving to Woodland Park Zoo in 1996. At the time of his death, Vip lived with his female companion, Jumoke.
“Losing one of our gorillas is deeply sad for our zoo family. During his 25 years at Woodland Park Zoo, Vip was dearly loved by the zoo’s staff, volunteers, members, donors, visitors and the community. In his own right, he became a very important primate to all of us,” says Martin Ramirez, curator of mammals at Woodland Park Zoo.
Vip was anesthetized in 2015 for successful sinus surgery along with a routine cardiac ultrasound and EKG as part of the zoo’s preventive health program for its great apes, in 2017 for emergency umbilical hernia surgery repair and in February 2021 for a diagnostic exam.
“We‘re very grateful to the team of human medical specialists and veterinary consultants who over the years have generously donated their time and expertise on behalf of our beloved gorilla,” says Collins.
Vip and the zoo’s gorillas have inspired tens of thousands of guests to care about gorillas and take actions to help preserve them into the future.
Every visit to Woodland Park Zoo supports conservation of animals in the wild. Join the zoo by recycling old cell phones and other used handheld electronics through ECO-CELL to help preserve gorilla habitat. Funds generated from ECO-CELL support the Mondika Gorilla Project and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
Become a ZooParent in honor of Vip. ZooParent adoptions are a sweet way to pay tribute to the zoo’s late silverback. ZooParent adoptions help the zoo provide exceptional care for all of Woodland Park Zoo's amazing animals and support conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.
|Photo: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo|