TAMPA — Sim Sim, the oldest male gorilla at Busch Gardens, has died.
“Sim Sim has lived at the park since 1992, receiving world-class care from our team,” said a Busch Gardens Facebook post this morning. “He will be greatly missed by our ambassadors and guests alike.”
The beloved gorilla had a moment in the spotlight as the star of a Super Bowl ad in 2007. The commercial, filmed at Busch Gardens’ Myombe Reserve, features Sim Sim convincing his companion Cenzoo to escape the enclosure and swipe some Bud Light from a delivery guy. USA Today’s Ad Meter rated it the seventh most popular ad of the game that year.
Hundreds of park guests commented Busch Gardens’ Facebook post with their condolences, sharing photos and memories of Sim Sim.
“We saw him. He was magnificent," wrote Sue Gaffney. "Miss you big guy.”
Glenn Sonntag wrote, “We’ll miss him laying up in the straw holding his one foot as he watches all of us.”
Rich Von-Doom shared the story of his late father’s encounter with Sim Sim:
“When I was a kid my dad (who was wheelchair bound and had kidney disease) would sit next to the glass and watch Sim Sim for hours (because it was a cool shaded spot to sit)." wrote Von-Doom. “My dad loved the gorillas and loved seeing Sim Sim. We went to Busch Gardens and spent an hour just talking about gorillas a few weeks before my dad passed in 2000. It is a memory I hold dear to me.”
Do you have memories of visiting Sim Sim? Let us know in the comments below.