ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Brian, the 32-year-old siamang at the Albuquerque BioPark has died from a bacterial infection that has also spread among other primates. Brian started showing signs Friday of the infection and despite treatment, died on Monday.
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“We are simply heartbroken to lose such a beloved member of our Zoo family,” said ABQ BioPark Director Stephanie Stowell in a news release. “Brian was a great dad and we are going to miss his morning vocal duets with Johore. This is a sad day for our BioPark team.”
Brian arrived at the BioPark in 2003 and had five offspring with his mate Johore. The BioPark had announced last week the detection of an infection caused by the shigella bacteria among several primates, officials say at least six others are showing symptoms.
BioPark officials are most worried about a 17-year-old gorilla Hasani who is in critical condition and Huerfanita a 48-year-old female gorilla who is showing moderate symptoms. Huerfanita is a zoo favorite, she was born at the BioPark in 1973 and abandoned by her mother, therefore giving her the name Huerfanita, which means little orphan.
Huerfanita spent 28 years at the Bronx zoo then returned to the BioPark in 2006.