Salome, Western lowland gorillaImage copyright Bristol Zoo
Image caption Salome was diagnosed with heart disease in the summer after she stopped eating her favourite foods

The first gorilla in the world to be given fertility treatment has died from heart disease.

Salome, a 41-year-old Western lowland gorilla, had lived at Bristol Zoo Gardens for 20 years.

She had her first baby at Chessington Zoo in 1988, but did not conceive again until 2006 in Bristol when she was given the human fertility drug Clomid.

She gave birth to son, Komale, and her third baby, another male, Kukena, was born in September 2011.

The zoo said keepers had become concerned about her health in the summer when she stopped eating her favourite foods.

‘Extremely saddened’

She was examined by zoo vets who diagnosed her with serious heart disease and put her on a course of medication.

Salome was found on Wednesday by her keepers in the gorilla house where she had died in her sleep.

Chief executive Dr Bryan Carroll said: “Everyone is extremely saddened by Salome’s death.

“The zoo has lost one of its most popular animals and one of its great characters. So many of us feel we have lost a friend.”

The wild population of Western lowland gorillas is estimated at between 90,000 and 110,000.

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