NEW DETAILS: Knoxville Zoo gorilla dies

Bibi, a 39 year old female gorilla, shown here in an undated file photo provided by the Knoxville Zoo. Bibi died on December 25, 2007 under anesthesia for treatment of a medical condition.
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) A gorilla that lives at the Knoxville Zoo has died.

Knoxville Zoo spokesperson Janya Marshall confirms that Bibi, a female gorilla, died on Christmas day.

She was almost 40-years-old.

Marshall says BiBi began feeling ill a few days ago, and began to experience swelling in her face, neck and chest on Christmas Eve.

University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine doctors began an emergency immobilization to diagnose the swelling.

Marshall says, BiBi died while under anesthesia on December 25.

A necropsy will be done at UT to officially determine the cause of her death.

Bibi has been at the Knoxville zoo since 1999.

She had been together with Ernie, the Knoxville Zoo’s 25-year-old male gorilla, since 1989 at the Denver Zoo.

They came to Knoxville Zoo in October 1999 after spending some time at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Sympathy and caring thoughts may be sent to BiBi’s keepers and the rest of her caregivers at Knoxville Zoo; Attn: Thoughts for BiBi; Knoxville Zoo; P.O. Box 6040; Knoxville, TN 37914.

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