From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2000:
Willie B., 41, a silverback gorilla, died from pneumonia at Zoo Atlanta on February 2. Captured in Africa as an infant, Willie B. spent 25 years in solitary confinement, with only a TV for company, at the former Atlanta-Fulton County Zoo, but made a rapid adjustment to a relatively normal gorilla life when the zoo––once considered the worst in the U.S.––was extensively renovated in 1988, and acquired other gorillas to live with him. During his last dozen years, he sired four daughters and a son, and showed the way toward rehabilitating many other long-isolated nonhuman primates. More than 2,500 people came to his funeral.
Alvin the Alligator, 40, resident at the Southwestern College science building in Winfield, Kansas, since 1960, was found dead in his cage in mid-January.