Bye, bye Floquet!
November 24, 2003 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Copito de Nieve, a.k.a. Floquet de Neu, the only known white gorilla dies at age 37. It was one of the symbols of my hometown Barcelona. Snowflake was the star of the Barcelona Zoo, he always surrounded by female gorillas (not surprisingly he produced 22 offspring but none of them albino) and was famous because of his bad mood and tendency to throw things around. He was finally put down today as his skin cancer condition was aggravating. There it goes a no small part of my childhood (although I preferred the dolphins, always so cheerful)... Snowflake no longer lives with Virunga and Coco... (sigh!)
posted by samelborp (9 comments total)
Poor Floquet de Neu! Although I never got around to seeing him, I too have been hearing about him all my life. I was similarly distressed when London zoo's Guy the Gorilla died. Zoos are stages in cages and there's something very sad and guilty about knowing a star performer's days are over.

Thanks all the same (sob!) for the thoughful and detailed post, samelborp.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:50 AM on November 24, 2003

That's too bad... especially given his rarity. It's amazing how a city comes to have a relationship with the animals in its zoo. Around here, there was much mourning over one Willie B.
posted by trox at 8:52 AM on November 24, 2003

I remember being stuck in Barcelona zoo for two hours a few years ago and spending most of that time trying to work out if Snowflake really was an albino gorilla or just a man in a white monkey suit.

we settled on the guy in the monkey suit, but either way he made my day.
posted by ciderwoman at 8:55 AM on November 24, 2003

It is strange, yesterday I was watching the news and I felt pretty cool hearing of his near death. And this afternoon while I was writing this post I started to feel very sad... as I grew older, I realized what a zoo really is, so I wasn't very fond of the whole zoo circus... but today I can't help to feel sad.

Yes, pobre Floquet!
posted by samelborp at 8:58 AM on November 24, 2003

Trox-- check out Ivan. He is still treasured in my hometown even though he lives in Atlanta now. I miss him, but I'm glad he's got a better home now.
posted by ukamikanasi at 9:31 AM on November 24, 2003

Floquet lives on. Well his name does.
posted by ginz at 9:48 AM on November 24, 2003

I always found the Barcelona Zoo depressing, even moreso than other modern zoos. While there was a rennovation a few years back, before that it wasn't always the prettiest site... Of course Floquet had a nice environment, even if it was no San Diego.
posted by cell divide at 10:10 AM on November 24, 2003

I agree, cell divide. I was at the Barcelona zoo in 1991 and found it terribly depressing. Although the lemurs seemed to be pretty upbeat.
posted by sharpener at 10:28 AM on November 24, 2003

cell, sharpener:

Yeah, they want to move the Zoo to the countryside, they say it would be a new concept of Zoo, large open spaces, more of a thematic park, I suppose.

Of course, the reason of getting rid of the old zoo is because the property will turn to be a real state hot spot in that area, which is very close to the new sea facade of Barcelona. Well, that is already old, as it is part of the 1992 Olympic Games urban reforms. BTW, that is happening again next year, as we'll have the Forum 2004, which is already transforming the north end of Barcelona beaches....

Ah, another turning point for our real states businessmen, sorry I meant a turning point for the city and the world's peace...
posted by samelborp at 11:34 AM on November 24, 2003

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