A gorilla which lived at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria for 21 years, died following diabetes-related
complications, the zoo said on Sunday.
"The zoo is mourning the death of Hobbit, its beloved resident gorilla for 21 years," said managing director Clifford Nxomani in a statement.
The 30-year-old gorilla, diagnosed with type two diabetes, suffered complications including kidney and eyesight damage. Hobbit had received daily insulin injections since 2007.
"Since his diagnosis he became subdued, and in recent months was mostly out of the public eye."
Hobbit's compromised kidneys resulted in severe weight loss, with his weight having dropped from 200kg to 160kg.
"We did everything possible to treat Hobbit's condition, and ensured that he was comfortable at all times.
"We had expected that he would have lived longer, but sadly in the past few weeks he turned for the worse," said Nxomani. - (Sapa, December 2009)