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 Massa the Gorilla

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Massa the Gorilla

Birth
Ghana
Death 30 Dec 1984 (aged 53–54)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 8595720 View Source
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Famous Animal. At 54, he was captivities longest living lowland gorilla. Born in West Africa he was shipped to the United States as an infant and raised by a wealthy Brooklyn eccentric named Gertrude Lintz. She raised and cared for Massa for the next four years. The 1997 movie "Buddy" was based on the real life Massa. In 1935 Massa was donated and moved to America's oldest zoo, the Philadelphia Zoological Garden, he had become too large and dangerous to remain in a domestic environment. In a show of his strength during the mid 1950s while being fed he ripped off an arm of his everyday handler. Well into the twentieth century a zoo exhibited many animals including gorillas in small, iron-barred, concrete-floored cells. In this solitary environment Massa lived for 50 years. In his prime he weighed 400 pounds (180 kilos) and had the strength of at least 16 men. On December 30, 1984, the Philadelphia Zoo helded a birthday party for the now balding, greying and weight losing Massa. He was fed a special diet (vitamins, vegetables and fruit) cake while a dixieland band played songs like 'Aba Dabba Honeymoon' at his party in the primate house. That night during his sleep Massa died of a stroke. A postmortem examination revealed that he had suffered two recent heart attacks.

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Paul Theodore Riegert
  • Added: 3 Apr 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8595720
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8595720/massa_the_gorilla : accessed ), memorial page for Massa the Gorilla (1930–30 Dec 1984), Find a Grave Memorial ID 8595720, citing Philadelphia Zoological Garden, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .