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Zoo's silverback gorilla Harry dies

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Harry the silverback gorilla died after a short illness

Harry the silverback gorilla died after a short illness

Harry the silverback gorilla died after a short illness

Dublin Zoo is mourning the loss of one of its most-loved attractions - Harry the western lowland silverback gorilla.

In a statement posted to its Facebook page yesterday, the Phoenix Park Zoo confirmed that Harry died after a short illness.

Harry, who also known as the 'silverback', was the leader of Dublin Zoo's gorilla troop.

He was 29 years old and during his time at the zoo had fathered six offspring.

The zoo said that the gorilla was "very gentle and calm" and will be greatly missed.

The exact reason for Harry's death is still unknown and Dublin Zoo is awaiting the final results of a postmortem.

Harry was born in 1986. He had two female mates in the Gorilla Rainforest section of the zoo - Lena, who was two years older than him, and Mayani, born in 2001.

Gorillas have an average lifespan of 35 to 40 years.

Social media was quick to react to the news, with people posting messages of sympathy and tribute.

Giggles

"Genuinely very sad reading this," wrote Triona Ryan Taheny. "Harry has been our family's fav in the zoo for years. We've spent so many hours just sitting watching him, and he's given our kids so many giggles over the years."

Another wrote: "So sad, loved seeing Harry when we visited he was a beautiful animal. It won't be the same."

Gillian O'Keefe wrote on Facebook, "Genuinely very said to hear this, I'm 28 and have been visiting Dublin Zoo since a baby as I live beside Phoenix Park, so have always known Harry, fabulous aminal... will miss seeing him on visits..."