Book of condolance for Bobby
Your memories of Bobby, ZSL London Zoo's male silverback gorilla, who passed away on Friday 5th December 2008.
Messages from Bobby's keepers, past and present
Bobby affectionately known as ‘bob bob’ was our delightful big boy at the zoo and was loved by all especially his extended family a dedicated team of keepers.
The last year of Bobby’s life was spent happily on his Kingdom; he had his own troop of ladies to look after and his very special love Mjukuu. He would laze around on the island in the sunshine arms behind his head surrounded by his adoring girls Zaire, Effie & Mjukuu he was proud and very confident. His very presence brightened every day.
We will remember him affectionately as our gentle giant his hoots to his keepers & funny antics will always bring a tear to our eyes and a smile to our faces.
Bobby will leave a huge gap on the Gorilla Kingdom & he will be missed.
On behalf of the Mammals South team we thank everybody for your kind words & support he will be remembered fondly.
Night night Bob bob.
Tracey Lee, Team Leader.
Against all the odds & after a less than ideal start in life Bobby became an excellent silverback, possibly the most good-natured & easy going silverback ever & certainly one of the nicest gorillas I've met.
His part in making the ZSL gorilla group what it is now shouldn't be underestimated, he did a great job. So glad he had the chance to achieve what he did & be a part of something so important before he went, he's set things up nicely for whoever follows in his footsteps. Thanks Bobby.
I'm also full of admiration & affection for my fellow Mammals South team members - an excellent example of a team pulling together & being mutually supportive on a very difficult day.
Having known Bongo just after he being confiscated to a Circus in 1992, I remember how his feeding behaviour was so different from that of other gorillas and his physical health poor. At the time of his arrive at the Rome Zoological Garden (about 8 years old) he only known people and chimpanzees.
It is a little miracle that such a poor creature has become later a marvellous ambassador of gorilla conservation in one of the most prestigious conservation institution of the world. All his keepers must be proud of what they achieve.
Messages from ZSL Members, volunteers and general public
I've been photographing Bobby every week for more than a year and the news this morning is devastating.
My thoughts go out to the Keeper team, especially Daniel who has put so much time and effort into making the Gorilla Kingdom a success for the animals and visitors.
Bobby will be missed by all, but especially those like me, who on every visit would always spend time with Bobby and his mates.
I was so sad to hear the news of Bobby on the lunchtime news. I have been coming to see him and the girls for a couple of years watching his behaviour and interactions.
I was there a couple a weeks ago and saw how happy the group looked. Zaire seemed to have taken on a new lease of life and was so tender with Bobby putting her head on his lap and looking at him so adoringly. I had never seen these two interact before and it was very touching. I had seen him with the other two girls. He was a great gorilla and will be sadly missed by me.
I cannot imagine how the keepers feel and the girls. My thoughts are with them.
He was a very very beautiful and handsome silver back gorilla and it was good that his last days were spent in such a loving environment. He gave me hours of pleasure just to watch him.
My wife and I visited London Zoo earlier this year and Bobby had a profound effect on both of us. I can only say that we both fell in love with him. He was handsome, gentle and playful and we spent a long time watching him with nothing short of awe. The way he ate leeks was particularly enchanting.
This news is extremely sad for both of us. We have some wonderful photographs of that day and some wonderful memories of Bobby. We both send our heartfelt condolences to the staff at London Zoo.
From Stephen and Yoshimi
I attended the opening of Bobby’s new digs just last year and was struck silent by his awesome presence. A very sad loss and may he rest in peace.
As a volunteer at ZSL London Zoo, I was devestated to hear of Bobby's passing. He truly was a gentle giant and I used to love to watch him - always curious about the visitors that were passing through Gorilla Kingdom. He will be sorely missed.
We're all heartbroken but take some solace in the knowledge that poor Bongo Junior will never again have a plate of spinach forced upon him.
His Berkshire Friends
We've been to see you twice in the last year, our 2yr old daughter loved you so much. Your presence will be missed, such a shame. Goodnight xxxx
The Rogers Family, Daventry.
I am very sorry to hear about Bobby, Having just decided to become a friend of the zoo as the Gorilla Kingdom is one of my favourite attractions.
I can't believe what I have just heard about poor Bobby. I feel so sad about this awful news. Me and my whole family will miss Bobby so much when we come to visit.
I am so glad that we got pictures of him on our cameras he was such a beautiful animal and it won't feel the same without him. Myself and my Family are sending our condolences to the workers and the other Friends and Family of Bobby. He surely will never be forgotten and greatly missed by those who knew him.
Bobby la la you shall be dearly missed in all our hearts, you were a great primate and no other shall ever replace you.
Love always Shelli and all at hef towers.
As a Whipsnade volunteer, and a lifelong supporter of the work of ZSL, I am deeply saddened by the recent news concerning Bobby.
What terrible news. He was a lovely gorilla and always looked so happy and peaceable. He was one of the gentlest and noblest looking apes that I have ever had the pleasure and honour to see.
I am really upset to hear about Bobby. I'm a season ticket holder, so come up regularly and always start by visiting the gorillas before it gets too crowded. He was so beautiful. To see all of them was just a wonderful start to any visit.
As an ex-volunteer who worked closely with Bobby for a short period of time, I am deeply saddened to hear the news about Bobby’s death.
He was a lovely lad and it was a real pleasure to help enrich his life at London Zoo. My thoughts go out to all the staff who have worked so hard to look after Bobby.
He will be surely missed.
Farewell my handsome boy, will miss you lots.
I am really sad to hear about Bobby, He was a magnificent animal. I was hoping to come and see the gorillas after adopting them but now it wont be the same. He will be missed by the keepers, public and of course his girlfriends at gorilla kingdom.
My daughter visited ZSL today, she was looking forward to seeing the Gorillas so much, it was the highlight of her trip, anyway her Teacher said they did not have time to go to that area, the sad news about Bobby explains why, there would have been many tears, my daughter is 12 years old and adores them all, she was lucky enough to visit last summer and did not stop talking about Bobby and Co, our hearts go out to you all
The Edwards family
I just want to say how sorry I am to hear about the passing of Bobby. I have never had the wonderful experience of visiting him, but I have always loved Gorilla's and followed various stories and articles about our treasured friends.
I am sad at our losing such a precious friend, my prayers and thoughts are with all his friends and family. As a very important part in history and evolution of life and how we see our friends, he will be sadly missed.
To all the keepers who lovingly provided Bobby with a life he may have otherwise never known,
My thoughts are with you all and hope that you may one day have another 'Bobby' for you to love and care for. Memories help heal and I am sure that you have the most wonderful ones of all!
I never had the honour of seeing this magnificent creature, Bobby, in person, but feel
I was an explainer there just before Bobby joined, with his new enclosure. He was amazing, and will be greatly missed by everyone. He was a beautiful silver back and had a lovely nature. It was a pleasure to have known him, he was so close to the other gorrilas and the keepers were fantastic with him.
He will be greatly missed and always remembered,
I recall the first time I saw Bobby in all his magnificent splendour. I always looked forward to going to Gorilla Kingdom to see Bobby and the girls. My thoughts go out to those who spent so much time with him, especially the keepers and the girls. Bobby will be missed.
I have spent many a happy hour photographing Bobby at the ZSL and I never bored of his expressions or the eyes. Bobby was an outstanding character and I will never forget him getting right up to the glass and looking at me. I hope he rests in peace. A great example of why conservation is so important.
So sorry to hear the sad news about Bobby and condolences to all those involved with him at the London Zoo.
I was so shocked when I picked up the Evening Standard tonight and read the sad news about Bobby. Even writing this I have the biggest lump in my throat. I am a member at London Zoo and was there a month or so ago and there was Bobby - indoors - right by the window - lying with feet sticking up in the air watching all of us looking at him.
My heart goes out to all the staff at the zoo who were so proud of him and took such great care. You are all wonderful and should be proud.
My condolences to all of you that worked with and cared for Bobby. We get so much from working with gorillas but when a death occurs, especially with a younger animal, you really suffer a loss. This has to be one of the hardest parts of being a keeper.
I'm sure the best part of his captive life was after the circus and once Bobby was in your care.
As a volunteer at ZSL London Zoo, I've had the privilege of being able to spend time with the gorillas, and watching Bobby and his girls- brought me endless pleasure. It broke my heart when I heard the news, today- so I can't imagine how his family of keepers, Zaire, Effie and Mjukuu are feeling. I know it's not much - but I just wanted to say my thoughts are with you... and Bobby- you will be sorely missed, in all your gentle majesty.
such sad news that Bobby has passed. We visited him on 7th Nov, he was looking beautiful. It must be devastating for his keepers and we feel for them.
My sympathies again to all the keepers, staff and volunteers who cared for Bobby.
Please receive condolences for Bobby and to all the people who knew and cared for him, we are very sorry to hear the news of his death, greetings and hugs to the Gorilla staff, from the Gorilla Team and our 4 Gorillas at Guadalajara Zoo in Mexico.
My friend sent me news of Bobby's demise today. I was much saddened by his passing and send my condolences to Bobby's keepers and friends who will miss him dearly.
We work with feral cats and rehab corvids. During my many years of rehabbing birds and other animals, I have never ceased to deeply feel the loss of one special soul. They are all angels. I take comfort in the fact that Bobby was so loved and cared for in his later years, although the scars of earlier times must have been evident, physically and emotionally.
Blessings to all those who cared for and loved Bobby.
Bobby, you will be missed.
With love and appreciation to all those who cared.
Nuala (Virginia, USA)
I have been a gorilla keeper at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, MA in the United States for 4 years.
Having such a close relationship with the animals I work with, I can only imagine the sorrow and hurt that all of the people who worked with Bobby must be going through. My thoughts go out to all of you and to the rest of the gorillas in his troop.
I found out yesterday evening about Bobby's passing and I was saddened to learn that this gentle giant had died. I spent 3 of the happiest hours watching and photographing Bobby and his girls in October of this year. It was an enchanting experience. It was only the cold and my shivering that stopped me from staying longer.
I would like to take this chance to offer my condolences to all the staff and volunteers at ZSL especially those who looked after Bobby - I can only imagine how the amazing team at GORILLA KINGDOM are feeling today.
You are all in my thoughts,
I was so saddened to hear of the death of Bobby. His death has come as such a shock and he will be missed by visitors and staff. He always provided such entertainment for visitors.
Sarah & Phil
My family and I visited London Zoo at Easter and as a great fan of Gorillas I was in awe at the sight of Bobby and his family, what a beautiful creature. He will always remain in our thoughts. R.I.P Bobby
Heard the sad news about Bobby yesterday 5/12/08. I was devesated as i had the privelage of meeting this fine Gentleman on 9/11/08, and he filled my heart with love and i also shed a tear looking into his big eyes.
I have a great fondness for Gorillas and my dream 1 day is to visit them in their own habitat, but at last visiting the Zoo made 1 of my dreams come true to see this gentle giant so close up. Would just like to say how sorry i am about the loss of this great gorilla Bobby, and i send my condolences and my thoughts will be with you all on Wednesday 10/12/08. Sadly missed Bobby. Will always have a place in my heart.
I would like to send my prayers and condolences out to you and your staff that have worked with Bobby. I live in WI, USA and we had a gorilla by the name of Sampson that was a member of everyone that visited our Milwaukee Zoo's family. He is still missed and it has been 26 years since he left us.
Bobby will always be with you and those that got to meet him. Always remember the good times your staff and patrons had with him and he will never truly go away. Don't forget to tell people about him that is one of the best ways to show his legacy he had with you. Again I am truly sorry for the loss of this wonderful animal.
Bobby grabbed our hearts when we first saw him and there will always be a place there for him. We always had to go and see him and 'his girls' before we went anywhere else. Like so many, we have so many photographs as reminders.
We’ll miss you Big Fella, as we know everyone else will. Thank you for sharing your life with us.
Alan & Helen
I am very sad Bobby died. I was planning to go and see him next summer with my brother Andreas. It is a sad day for London and London Zoo.
I am a member of ZSL & visit the zoo regularly with my youngest grand-daughter. She always wants to see 'the big monkeys' first. We shall so miss seeing Bobby there. I was so sad & cried a lot when I read the news of his death.We shall always remember him.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Bobby, although I have always wanted to visit London Zoo to see the gorillas.
I have a huge love for gorillas and was deeply touched by this news. I believe London Zoo are doing a fantastic job and cant bear to think how these guys are feeling.
R.I.P. Bobby and well done to London Zoo for making his life special!
We are really sad to hear about Bobby. We are members of ZSL who visit when we can because we live on the coast, so can’t come every week, but Bobby has been the highlight of our trips to London for some time. We can’t believe he’s no longer there.
Our thoughts are with the keepers who cared for him every day and with the other gorillas. We have fond memories of a great animal.
Karen, Steve and Matthew
I loved visiting the gorillas; Bobby was my favourite - I have loads of photos of him. Bobby was lovely. On one of my visits he was outside and threw a stick at the crowd. I would have stayed at the enclosure all day.
When I saw it on the news it made me cry. The enclosure and bobby and family made we want to come everyday. My daughter kept saying 'Come on mum we will come back, I promise'. Bobby was a lovely animal who made me want to stay all day in one place, just watching his funny ways.
He made me happy and I feel for all his keepers who I spoke to quite a bit.
Love Joanne and family
A magnificent silverback gorilla, a true ladies ape and king of the Gorilla Kingdom.
I'm so shocked by the news of Bobby's death. I was really looking forward to seeing him on December 23rd, since I'm booked for a "Keeper for a Day" experience. I've been waiting for this day since November last year, and I now feel really sad to have missed such a loving gentle giant.
I love gorillas, they're such amazing creatures. The Gorilla Kingdom won't be the same without Bobby.
My thoughts are with the keepers and other zoo staff, but also with the visitors who had the chance I never had to meet him and who will undoubtfully feel even more devastated than I am.
My deepest condolences.
Carmen, Gran Canaria, Spain
I am so very sad to hear of Bobby passing away. Such a magnificent animal and the pride of our London Zoo. My heart goes out also to his keepers and all those who were, are still attached to him. May he rest in peace.
I hope his three female companions will survive this sad event as I am sure that these animal have very strong attachments amongst themselves, the silverback back being the backbone of a gorilla community.
I can't believe he's gone.....I saw him last Sunday and he looked really under the weather....so sad to lose such a lovely animal.....I'll remember the 2 times I saw him with great memories, my thoughts are with everyone who helped take care of him and for the 3 female gorillas he left behind, I really hope he's having a great time in jungle heaven!!!
R.I.P. BOBBY - YOU WILL BE SORELY MISSED!!!
My sister and I have been coming to visit Bobby every year and we can not express our sadness when we heard the news of our favorite animal in the Zoo had passed away.
Please accept our condolences - Bobby will be missed by us and every body else who loved and care for him.
Marcia and Mariana
I lived in England for awhile, and visited Bobby and "the Ladies" often. I could watch them for hours. Bobby had a profound impact on me. He truly was a special guy. I returned to America some time ago but missed the gorillas and thought of them often. When this sad news reached me, it brought tears to my eyes. He is not forgotten.
I was devastated to hear that Bobby had passed away. Although I am a more frequent visitor to Whipsnade whenever myself and my husband visited ZSL London we always went straight over to say Hello to Bobby.
He will be sadly missed by everyone, including members of my family who had not been able to visit him in person and only " knew " him via our many photographs.
My sincere condolences to all Bobbys Keepers and all staff at ZSL
Linda, Fellow ZSL
My daughters and I visited Bobby and his girls over many years and he was loved by all of us. Any Gorilla my 3 year old sees in any picture is always 'Bobby Bobby!' I will always remember one time when he put his hand up against the glass to 'touch' my daughter as she was doing the same thing.
We also will forever think of Bobby whenever we enjoy a cup of herbal tea - we so loved watching him swig his bottles of herbal teas! I don’t know how I’ll break the news to my daughters...
RIP Bobby - you will be missed by us all. Our hearts go out to your keepers and above all, Jookie, Effie and Zaire. We hope they’ll be ok.
I adopted Bobby this year and last year and am very very sad that he has gone. I can't believe it. I won't be able to see him when I go to the Zoo now and I am so sad.
I will remember him for the rest of my life
From Tyler Mitchell (age 9)
Having met Bobby, he will be very sadly missed by all. A great character.
We were truly upset to hear the news of Bobby, which was told to us by a friend. We became regular visits to London Zoo as our son loved to go and watch Bobby. We even became members as he would want to come and see Bobby so often. He would sit there for ages watching Bobby. One time we all stood there for over 2 hours as we could not tear our son away.
Our son often mimics Bobby, how he walks, how he eats etc, he will very upset.
On behalf of our son Dhillan
Thank you for that gentle tap on the glass that you gave me last week when you saw me.
Always miss you, always love you.
I am so sad for you all. I brought my grand daughter Takara to see bobby last year, He totally ignored everyone else and settled his eyes on her, she was 2 ½ yrs old and stood rooted to the spot, absolutely fascinated. Beautiful. I can't imagine what you are all feeling, love to the girls.
As a recent volunteer at the Zoo, Gorilla Kingdom was one of my favourite places to work. Not least because Bobby was such a beautiful and interesting animal to watch and being able to engage people by telling them about Bobby and the rest of the troupe was wonderful. He was a fabulous character with wonderful traits especially his pooh eating habits which never failed to amuse the public and volunteers alike. It is so sad that he has died as he seemed to be in his element with his new Kingdom and wonderful harem of girls.
It really was a very very sad day when I heard of his death and I hope Zaire, Effie and Djukie don’t suffer as a result of the loss of their silverback Bobby.
Very best wishes to all the keepers and staff at the Zoo.
I have been humbled in life by many things; none compares to how I felt the first time I saw 'Bobby' . His potent majesty - even looking back over his shoulder - made our human frailty and humility all the more obvious. If God wanted to show us how fine the line is that gives us grace, he showed it in the form of the beautiful creature you protected and loved.
My sympathies go to his keepers and all those who loved and admired him for the beautiful expression of creation he was. May his life continue to inspire all those that work for the love of, and respect for, our fellow creatures.
I was shocked and saddened to hear of Bobby's untimely passing.
Bobby was magnificent, remarkable and a great character. He had no father to learn from so to have seen him grow into his role over the past five years has been a privilege and to see him with "his girls" was wonderful.
I send my condolences to everyone at London Zoo but most especially to Bobby's keepers. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten, Jen.
I am devastated by Bobby's passing. He was one of the reasons I became a member and my very frequent visits mean a great deal. As being disabled life can be difficult, but my visits to the zoo, especially the gorilla enclosure, lifted my heart greatly. I am also sad for the other three female gorillas as they will be missing Bobby, as will the keepers. My condolences go to you all.
Bobby was a good pal and I will miss him very much. He had such a distinct personality with sparkling expressive eyes and I am greatly heartened by the fact that his last days were with his new group and in his new enclosure, his first years were not so good. My condolences to his keepers who will miss his massive presence in their lives and thanks to their wonderful input. Maybe their grief can be comforted by the knowledge that there are many like myself who will miss this wonderful 'gentleman' and he will never be forgotten. What a privilege for all us to have known him.
Bye bye my old friend.
I was really fond of Bobby, he especially made my two weeks work experience at Mammals South section at ZSL an amazing experience.
I know he was loved by all of the wonderful team at Mammal South, and I know he loved them too. I just wish good luck for the section from now on, and I hope the girlies at Gorilla Kingdom are coping well.
Sleep tight Bobby, sweet dreams x
I came to visit London Zoo with my family in August this year. I was really looking forward to seeing Bobby. I was so glad that I visited him and his family. He seemed so gentle and playful. I was so sad to here that he passed away. I send all my love and thoughts to everyone who looked after Bobby. I will be thinking about Bobby on Wednesday.
love Trafford age 10 x
I visited London Zoo for the first time in October last year. The main purpose for my visit, the only purpose for my visit, was Gorilla Kingdom. I love gorillas and seeing Bobby so close up was amazing, so much so it brought me to tears =( I'm very upset to hear of his death. I hope the girls are coping ok without him xxx
How very sad; my visits will not be the same without seeing this wonderful animal. My heartfelt commiserations to all at the Zoo. I shall not be able to attend on the 10th but I shall remember Bobby at 3 oclock.
Goodnight dear Bobby,
I unfortunately can’t be with you all today Wednesday 10th December for the service commemorating Bobby. I was so sad to hear about Bobby’s death and I know you will all be feeling terribly sad - there will be a big gap in everyone’s lives.
We the public have been privileged to have had Bobby and been allowed to meet him he was absolutely a magnificent silver back, thank you for taking such good care of him.
My heart and thoughts are with you all and his ‘girls’.
A dear friend of mine told me Bongo Jr., untimely, passed away. I can’t believe, and remember him at the Rome Zoo, his eyes and face. He was a good boy and I ‘m glad to hear he was much loved at London Zoo.
I know what a loss of a loved Zoo’s animal is, in particular a gorilla. I suffered much when Bongo senior passed away at Rome Zoo. I can imagine how the keepers feel and the girls. They are in my thoughts. Bye bye Bob.
Bobs you were the best. Watching you develop over the last year, seeing your group come together, and seeing you learn what it is to be a true silverback has been a sheer delight.
I'm so glad your last year was spent in such a wonderful setting and that you had such kind, dedicated keepers and that your girls loved you so much.
You deserved it, goodbye Bobs.