Pet cemetery offers final resting place for Ivan - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pet cemetery offers final resting place for Ivan

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TACOMA, Wash.  A Washington pet cemetery has offered a resting place for Ivan, the 50-year-old gorilla with Tacoma roots. 

The president of New Tacoma Cemeteries says it will provide a free space in the University Place pet cemetery if the zoo wants it. 

Ivan died at Zoo Atlanta on Monday. He had lived there since 1994. He was born in the wild around 1962 and wildlife traders sold him to the owners of a department store in Tacoma in 1964.  After pressure from local animal rights groups, the owners donated Ivan to Zoo Atlanta.

Zoo Atlanta spokeswoman Keisha Hines says the zoo is waiting for a decision by the Tacoma family that owned the famous ape for most of his life, and for word from Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, which technically owns Ivan. She says Atlanta zoo officials would have preferred to let scientists use Ivan's 315-pound body for research.