Freedom at last for Ivan the gorilla?
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1993:
TACOMA, Washington––Bankruptcy judge Philip Brandt ruled October 26 in
favor of a Chapter 11 reorganization plan presented by B&I Shopping Center minority owner
Mary Ann Borgert that includes selling the property and moving Ivan, a lowland gorilla who
has spent 29 years there in solitary confinement, to an appropriate zoo. The Columbus Zoo,
in Ohio, appears to be the most likely destination, having 18 gorillas already, including
potential mates for Ivan, but the National Zoo in Washington D.C., the Woodland Park Zoo
in Seattle, and the Atlanta Zoo, which rehabilitated a gorilla kept in solitary confinement
almost as long, are also possibilities. The Dallas Zoo, which reportedly tried to buy Ivan at
one point, no longer has a place for him. B&I principal owner Ron Irwin had always refused
cash offers because, he said, Ivan was “like family.” Ivan was imported nearly a decade
before the passage of the Endangered Species Act cut off private gorilla acquisiitons. The
Progressive Animal Welfare Society and the American Society of Zoological Parks and
Aquariums met October 23 to review contingency plans for Ivan’s hoped-for imminent
move––but Borgert said she wouldn’t make a relocation decision quickly.