Britain’s oldest gorilla dies aged 57: Conservationist mourns loss of ‘kind old lady’ named Babydoll who loved cheddar cheese and apple blossom
Conservationist Damian Aspinall and his wife, Burberry executive Victoria, are mourning the death of their beloved gorilla, Babydoll, aged 57, at Howletts Park in Kent.
Babydoll was Britain’s oldest gorilla and hand-raised in Howletts, where she built a close bond with the entire Aspinall family, especially Damian, who is only a year older.
‘I have had to make a horrible decision and let Babydoll be put to sleep,’ said animal-lover Aspinall yesterday.
Babydoll (pictured) was Britain’s oldest gorilla and hand-raised in Howletts, where she built a close bond with the entire Aspinall family
Damian Aspinall comforts dying Babydoll, who died aged 57, at Howletts Park in Kent
‘I have many memories of her from my childhood to now and will never forget her.’
Victoria said: ‘Although she was too old to release, her offspring have successfully lived to be set free.
‘We will all miss those gorilla gurgles, her love for apple blossom and cheddar cheese.
‘Always warm and welcoming, a kind old lady with an enormous appetite.
‘So much so, Damian and I named the new Italian restaurant in her honour.’
Damian Aspinall and Victoria Fisher at the Conservation Couture opening hosted by Elephant Family at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in October 2016