LA Zoo

‘An Amazing and Beautiful Soul': Bruno the Charming LA Zoo Orangutan Dies at 42

Bruno was described by a zoo keeper who worked with him as an exceptionally special orangutan.

Bruno the orangutan is pictured in this undated LA Zoo photo.
LA Zoo

A 42-year-old orangutan named Bruno, who charmed staff members and visitors for nearly three decades at the Los Angeles Zoo, died this week, the zoo announced Friday. 

A cause of death was not immediately available, but 42 is considered old for an orangutan, the zoo said in an Instagram post. The zoo is waiting on more test results, the post said. 

Bruno arrived at the zoo in 1994. 

“Bruno captivated guests, staff, and volunteers with his enigmatic charm and docile spirit since his arrival,” the zoo’s statement said. “Bruno's animal care team provided exceptional care for him during the 27 years that he called the Zoo home.”

LA Zoo animal keeper Megan Fox worked with Bruno since 2000.

"Bruno was an exceptionally special orangutan, beautiful inside and out,” Fox said. “His good-natured spirit was easily visible with one look into his eyes. He had an ability to connect with people in such an amazing way, like nothing I have seen. This is what has fostered the adoration of so many people over his lifetime; Bruno was loved by so many. He was also adored by the female orangutans in his group, having formed very special and close relationships with each of them. Bruno was also particularly sweet, kind, and patient with the youngsters. He was a gentle and generous soul, almost always providing his keepers with a daily gift, a small creation he would craft during the day. I will always remember his gifts, but will appreciate and be grateful for the best of all of his gifts, which was just him; knowing and loving such an amazing and beautiful soul has been such an honor. He will be missed, always. Bruno’s beautiful spirit helped people connect to him, but also helped connect people to orangutans in general—with all 3 species of orangutan listed as critically endangered, he helped people appreciate and care about orangutans in zoos, in the wild, and about orangutan conservation; Bruno was a truly incredible ambassador for his species."

In its Instagram post, the zoo asked people to share memories of Bruno. 

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