Local pet cemetery offers space for Ivan the gorilla

Local pet cemetery offers space for Ivan the gorilla

Credit: Jeherv via Flickr.com

Ivan the gorilla at the Atlanta Zoo. This photo was taken by Flickr user Jeherv.

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on August 24, 2012 at 8:00 AM

A pet cemetery in University Place could be the final resting place of Ivan the gorilla, the animal who spent half his life on display in a Tacoma shopping store.

The president of New Tacoma Cemeteries and Funeral Home has offered a space for Ivan's remains for free, according to the Tacoma News Tribune.

Ivan died Monday at Zoo Atlanta after undergoing a medical procedure to diagnose his ailing health. He never awoke from anesthesia.

Ivan grew up at the B & I Circus Store in Lakewood, where for 27 years he lived inside an enclosure and was visited by thousands of shoppers.

"I myself recall visiting Ivan on several occasions at the B & I, always in awe of his presence and the fact there was a gorilla here in South Tacoma," wrote Ron Messenger, president of New Tacoma Cemeteries. "It would be our honor to have Ivan placed here and once again be 'home' where he belongs."

Loved by community, animal rights groups soon pressured owners into donating Ivan to the Woodland Park Zoo. He was later moved to Zoo Atlanta for their gorilla rehabilitation program. 

Ivan was estimated to be about 50-years-old when he died.

 

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