RIP, Pattycake: Saying goodbye to NYC's first resident gorilla

We remember the Bronx Zoo's gentle giant, who passed away yesterday.

Pattycake the Gorilla

Pattycake the Gorilla Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society

King Kong may be the most famous gorilla to ever inhabit NYC, but we'd like to think Pattycake was the nicest—and she was the first born in the boroughs.

On September 3, 1972, the Western lowland gorilla entered the world at the Bronx Zoo and spent some time at the Central Park Zoo before returning to the Boogie Down to Congo Gorilla Forest, where she lived with one of three troops (yep, that's the moniker given to a group of gorillas).

According to a release from the Bronx Zoo, where she made her home for 40 years, the ape likely passed away from chronic cardiac issues. If you didn't get to meet her, or are just a sucker for animal books, you can pick up one of two tomes written about her—Gorilla Baby: The Story of Pattycake and Gentle Gorilla: The Story of Pattycake.

Take a peek at the video below, snapped by a zoogoer, and let us know if you ever got to see Pattycake in real life. If not, which animals did you spend your time visiting? (Feel guilty yet? Huh? Just kidding.)

Pattycake at the Bronx Zoo