Source: Zoo Miami/Facebook
January 18, 2017 08:01 PM

Zoo Miami’s Josephine, also known as the grandmother of Harambe, died on Wednesday.

“It is with very heavy hearts that we announce the loss of our matriarch gorilla, Josephine,” the zoo announced in a statement on social media.

Josephine was euthanized after “suffering from several health issues that slowly incapacitated her,” the statement explained.

In 2009, Josephine had cataract surgery and had two artificial human lenses implanted to restore her sight. “A variety of exams and tests performed over the last several days showed several abnormalities that indicated systemic terminal conditions that had no chance for positive outcomes or hope for recovery,” the zoo detailed.

Staffers made the decision after Josephine was unable to reach for her favorite treat Wednesday morning.

Born in the wild in March 1967, Josephine came to Zoo Miami in 1983. One year later, she gave birth to her first offspring, a male named Moja, who was the first gorilla born at Zoo Miami.

Then in 1997, Moja was moved to Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, where he fathered 13 gorillas, including Harambe. After 16 years in Brownsville, Moja died at age 29 in April 2013.

Harambe was the 17-year-old Western Lowland silverback gorilla who was shot and killed by zookeepers at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into his enclosure. Harambe continues to live on in the collective mind of the Internet, entering into a rarefied state of venerated meme status.

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