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Federal judge orders gorilla's return to Cincinnati Zoo

 In this 2016 file photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the silverback gorilla Ndume picks up a toy at The Gorilla Foundation's preserve in California's Santa Cruz mountains. Documents in federal court in San Francisco show that The Gorilla Foundation balked at a June 4, 2019 return requested by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, saying Ndume has a bacterial infection that could worsen during a stressful move. Photo: Ron Evans/Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden via AP
In this 2016 file photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the silverback gorilla Ndume picks up a toy at The Gorilla Foundation's preserve in California's Santa Cruz mountains. Documents in federal court in San Francisco show that The Gorilla Foundation balked at a June 4, 2019 return requested by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, saying Ndume has a bacterial infection that could worsen during a stressful move.

June 08, 2019 02:27 PM

A federal judge has again ordered a California group to return a male silverback gorilla to the Ohio zoo where he was born.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg ruled Friday in San Francisco that northern California's Gorilla Foundation must transfer 37-year-old Ndume (nnn-DOO'-may) to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Thursday.

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Zoo officials sought to bring Ndume home after Koko, the gorilla famed for learning sign language, died last June and left Ndume by himself. He was loaned to the foundation in 1991 to be Koko's companion with the proviso he'd return to Cincinnati after her death.

RELATED: Koko, the Gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

The foundation argued as late as this week the transfer would harm Ndume. Zoo officials, animal rights groups and, most importantly, Seeborg disagreed.

Messages seeking comment with the foundation were left Saturday.
 

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Credits

The Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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