TACOMA (AP) — A Washington pet cemetery has offered a resting place for Ivan, the 50-year-old gorilla with Tacoma roots who died at Zoo Atlanta on Monday. In a letter to the editor of The News Tribune, the president of New Tacoma Cemeteries offers a free space in their University Place pet cemetery if the zoo wants it.
Ivan had lived at Zoo Atlanta since 1994. He was born in the wild around 1962 and wildlife traders sold him to the owners of a department store in Tacoma in 1964. A few years later, he was moved to an indoor enclosure at the store. Zoo Atlanta spokeswoman Keisha Hines says the zoo is waiting for a decision by the Tacoma family that owned the famous ape for most of his life.
They’re also waiting to hear from Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, which technically owns Ivan. She says Atlanta zoo officials would have preferred to let scientists use Ivan’s 315-pound body for research.