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Gorilla Euthanized At North Carolina Zoo After Illness

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Kibibi ('little lady' in Swahili) embraces her mother Mandara at the Great Ape House at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, DC. (Photo credit KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Kibibi (‘little lady’ in Swahili) embraces her mother Mandara at the Great Ape House at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, DC. (Photo credit KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) — Officials at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro have euthanized a 21-year-old male gorilla after he had been treated for an illness for more than a week.

Mammal curator Adrian Fowler said Nkosi, or Nik, had not been eating well and collapsed Sunday.

Fowler says the zoo’s staff worked around the clock and consulted experts from other zoos and outside medical experts and determined they had no choice but to euthanize the gorilla.

An autopsy was performed Tuesday and tissue samples were being evaluated to determine what caused Nik’s illness. Fowler says it could be several weeks before the rest results are back.

Nik came to North Carolina from the Columbus Zoo in 2008 and is the father of two males, Bomassa and Apollo, who were born in August 2012.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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