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ABQ Mourns Loss of ‘Gentle’ Gorilla

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The BioPark Zoo today is mourning the death of a 39-year-old gorilla named Lina, who was known for her gentle disposition and work as an adoptive mother.

The city of Albuquerque’s full news release is posted below.


BioPark Staff Mourns the Loss of Gorilla

Lina Was a Gentle Member of BioPark Zoo 


ALBUQUERQUE, NM-The ABQ BioPark is saddened to announce the loss of Lina, the Western Lowland gorilla. On Friday morning keepers found Lina unresponsive in her room at the BioPark’s Apehouse. The veterinary staff immediately started running tests to determine the cause of Lina’s condition. She was transported to the Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center of New Mexico which donated their time and efforts to complete the C T scan and aid in Lina’s diagnosis. The scan revealed a massive brain aneurysm. After consulting with several veterinarians, an MD Neurologist and Pathologist, the staff made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize Lina.

Lina was born at the Los Angeles Zoo, and was 39-years-old. In May 1992, Lina joined the gorilla family at the ABQ BioPark. Lina became the proud surrogate mother of Tulivu in 2000. Generally a gentle submissive  gorillLina and Tulivua, Lina was extremely protective of her adopted daughter, whom she received when Tulivu was a year old.

Actress Betty White assisted in the hand rearing of Lina while the gorilla was at the L.A. Zoo. She wrote about the experience in her book, Betty and Friends: My Life at the Zoo. She says that some of these animals, like Lina, have helped shaped her life.

“The staff is devastated at the loss of Lina,” said ABQ BioPark Director Rick Janser.
“She was a kind and gentle gorilla who was an important part of our gorilla family for the past twenty years and will be dearly missed.”

Lina was diagnosed five years ago with renal failure and has been under close veterinary care since that time. She had a complete physical in early 2012. Definitive results of the necropsy will not be available for several weeks.

Caption: Lina sits in the BioPark Apehouse yard with Tulivu. Photo Courtesy ABQ BioPark.

The ABQ BioPark is an accessible facility and a division of the Cultural Services Department, City of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry, Mayor. For more information, visit or call 311 locally or 505-768-2000 (Relay NM or 711).