June 06, 2002
Snowflake's Big Day

John & Antonio, of Inside Europe: Iberian Notes, bring us news from the animal kingdom. It's the last entry for today, but I'll quote the whole thing since they have no anchor links:

Snowflake, the albino gorilla at the Barcelona Zoo, has had a cataracts operation and is now a lot more lively as he can see much better. He's as old as John, 36 years old as of now. That's not bad for a lowland gorilla. Last time we went to the zoo we were privileged to observe Snowflake satisfying one of his lady friends right up near the glass. This was pre-operation, so now that he can see better, the Gorilla Peep Show ought to be functioning at all hours.

Maybe I'm being cynical, but the conclusion doesn't necessarily follow. What if Snowflake suddenly finds out his girlfriend's ugly? Not that humans are in any position to judge, but I imagine some lady gorillas are total babes while others are . . . less so -- at least as far as the he-gorillas are concerned. The operation could turn out to be more curse than blessing.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at June 06, 2002 06:10 PM

He has his choice of three, so we'll bet that at least one is a gorilla 6 or 7 on a ten-scale--and sometimes ugly females can be sexy, like many of the French grandes horizontales and most of the actual French chicks we've come across. And if he can actually see what his tootsies are shaking, he just might have a second wind in him.

Posted by: John on June 9, 2002 12:54 PM

Where can I get a picture of snowflake? Preferably poster size.

Posted by: judi on October 23, 2002 08:04 AM

If you could furnish me with any information on that wonderful SNOWFLAKE. I have been a staunch admirer of his since his birth. I have the original article from National Geographic magazine from 1962 and cherish it. He has been my hero. Please tell me how he is and if he is well.
Thanks, Katherine

Posted by: Katherine Brown on April 13, 2003 11:24 PM

I just returned from visiting Madrid and Barcelona. While in Barcelona, had lunch sitting in front of Snowflake's enclosure. He's wonderful, and enjoying himself spoiling a youngster that lives in the same area, along with several other gorillas. He still a magnificent animal, although he may still be having sight problems. A glorious time.

Posted by: Karin Phillips on April 19, 2003 12:20 AM

I also have followed Snowflake since his National Geographic debut and would love to get an address in Barcelona for the zoo to get a poster.

Posted by: Sally DeWitt on May 5, 2003 02:41 PM

I visited Barcelona Zoo 2 years ago and spent most of the day watching Snowflake, my husband was extremly tolerant. He is even taking me and my daugter in August to see him but I think they will leave me staring into the enclosure while they check out the rest of the Zoo.
I think he is the most wonderful thing I have ever seen. His cute friendly face stares at me from my computer every day (sad I know) but I think he's great..

Posted by: Lisa Thomas on July 17, 2003 04:46 AM

I just read that snowflake is suffering from skin cancer and they give him 2-3 months.
It's so sad to know he's ill. Such a remarkable creature.

Posted by: Nancy Woen A Lien on September 15, 2003 09:02 PM

yes - it is a shame and very sad but thats the way of all flesh unfortunately. At least Snowflake will leave behind a thriving gang of 'kids' who I saw in August this year creating merry hell all around him. He was a very special animal and spookily aware of what was going on around him and how much of a star he is. I met one of his previous keepers who confirmed this. Its a shame there isn't a web site dedicated to him, his history and his legacy (his 'kids')

Posted by: Trevor Skingle on September 22, 2003 08:42 AM

yes - it is a shame and very sad but thats the way of all flesh unfortunately. At least Snowflake will leave behind a thriving gang of 'kids' who I saw in August this year creating merry hell all around him. He was a very special animal and spookily aware of what was going on around him and how much of a star he is. I met one of his previous keepers who confirmed this. Its a shame there isn't a web site dedicated to him, his history and his legacy (his 'kids'). Peter Jackson had better hurry to see Snowflake with his family or he won't be there when he visits Barcelona Zoo in a couple of months time.

Posted by: Trevor Skingle on September 22, 2003 08:44 AM

Hi there - I only discovered Snowflake eariler this year when we got some books on Barcelona prior to our visit there in August, I fell in love instantly and was overjoyed when I visited him on my first day in the city. A friend of mine who I'd bored with details of the great ape told me the terrible news yesterday and it was confirmed when searching the net today!!! Anyways, someone mentioned an official site dedicated to him, if anyone knows people who could put this into action I run a web design agency in the UK and would be happy to do the design work gratis!! I'd just need the info and pics etc.!!! Feel free to email me if your in a position to put this into action i'd love to do it to thank the big guy who made my week in Barcelona!!!!

Posted by: James Davidson on September 22, 2003 12:06 PM

My Family had the honour and privilige of meeting Snowflake, in July this year. He is one amazing Gorilla. Snowflake has a amazing personality and loves playing up to the camera's.
We were devastated to hear the news of Snowflake.We were told that the day Snowflake died, the whole City of Barcelona would mourn his death. I disagree, he had a greater impact than that.I know in the UK a majority of us will Mourn to. My two daughters are devastated.I admit I am to.I wish Snowflake all the very best.

Posted by: Sarah Cox on September 23, 2003 02:55 PM

I've followed Snowflake through the years and he always makes me smile. I just found out he is suffering from skin cancer and this is the first time he has left me feeling sad. I feel sad for all of Snowflake's friends at the zoo and the Barcelona community.

Posted by: Cyndy on October 4, 2003 06:21 PM

I visited snowflake yesterday and he seemed to be OK at first glance.
He was sitting close to a wall turning he's back to the audience.
Then he got up and moved to another place very close to the windows of the audience.
There you can see a sign "no flash, when you take a picture". But the people can't hear or read signs. Making all the time pictures against a glass window hurting snowflakes wounded eyes.

Stupid man, poor gorilla.
Imagine yourself in the cage and seeing the stupidness around you that's real torture!

It wa great to see a white gorilla but he was robbed from nature.
I prefer to see animals in their real nature, so support your local gorillas!

Posted by: Zulugaga on October 5, 2003 02:29 PM

I left a message April 13 2003.... I am crushed at the news of MY SNOWFLAKE.... it truly breaks my heart that this beautiful creature is near the end of his glorious life. I hope his life was happy and he didn't mind being caged... I hope the end will be done well, he deserves the best - I already feel the loss of my friend. I treasure the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article of 1963. A favorite possession.

Posted by: Katherine Brown on October 18, 2003 11:08 PM

Snowflake sounds a wonderful Gorilla, I only wish
I could meet him.
We wish you all the best Snowflake
Love Jack

Posted by: Jack Bainborough on October 24, 2003 05:43 PM

I'm from Barcelona, and we all are crushed at the perspective of losing our friend Floquet de Neu (Which is his real name; it's catalonian, and it means Snowflake)

Snowflake is more than just the big star of the zoo. He's much more than the only known albino gorilla of the world. He's part of the city, part of us, part of our way of life, like the Sagrada Familia, the statue of Colon, the Camp Nou or the Diagonal Avenue.

But, more than that all, Snowflake is a friend. We grown up with him. He's part of our family.

The Zoo of Barcelona hosts many notable creatures. We have one of the most impressive selections of apes and monkeys of the world. But no animal got into our hearts the way Snowflake did. He is special, higly intelligent, amiable, maybe sometimes a bit grumpy, and arguably a show-off, but he is always there for us.

A few days ago, the carers at the Zoo of Barcelona closed Snowflake's habitat to the public. His cage is covered with curtains, so the visitors can't see his agony. The wound in his armpit has become big and it's obviously infected, what makes his health even worse.

I think he has barely no time left.

A big part of Barcelona's heart is dying with him.

Posted by: Carlos on November 23, 2003 12:25 PM

What a sad, sad day in November.
Snowflake has died today.
I thought of him yesterday and wondered how he was doing.
And today I read that this wonderful, beautiful creature has died.My eyes are filled with tears.
I feel sorry for his keepers who took care of him for so many years.
And for the people of Barcelona who grew up with him and knew him for so long.
He gave so much joy and happieness to everyone I hope he lived a joyful and happy life too.

Posted by: Nancy Woen A Lien on November 24, 2003 06:58 AM

Yes. Today, the carers at the Zoo of Barcelona ended Snowflake's suffering. The Zoo is planning to erict a statue of Snowflake at the entrance of the park.

This is a sad, sad day for Barcelona and for animal lovers all over the world.

Adeu, Floquet. Mai no t'oblidarem.
(Good-bye, Snowlake. We'll never forget you)

Posted by: Carlos on November 24, 2003 06:52 PM

me and some friends went to viste snowflake in september, a few days before it was clear he was dying. I'm very sad to hear he's dead now. It was a beautiful animal.


Posted by: DriKKe on November 24, 2003 09:15 PM




Posted by: Katherine Brown on November 26, 2003 12:15 AM

I first visited Barcelona in April 2001, where I met and grew very fond of Snowflake. I have visited each year since and have enjoyed watching the most amazing animal ever. I am very sad to hear of his death but I am grateful that it has only been a short while since I saw him for what was to be the last time. Good night god bless Snowflake, sleep in peace....xxxx

Posted by: Sharon Farrow on November 26, 2003 12:46 PM

Since 1973 I have used the lowland gorilla - and especially "Snowflake" as prime examples of species that need to be protected and of individual members who illustrate the power of genetics and evolution in our lives. A white gorilla - imagine that - and with blue eyes.

Having only seen pictures of Snowflake in texts, my students and I are left to our imagination concerning this "cousin". Several slides showing the "Vanilla Gorilla" appear in a program produced by "The Center for Humanities", and introduce a unit concerning DNA and RNA. My classes have enjoyed these youthful pictures of Snowflake for three decades.

We have just heard of the passing of our "friend". It is with great sorrow that we say goodbye to Snowflake. The Barcelona facility is to be commended for their long years of care and support for this individual. It is quite likely that he would never have survived as long in the wild. The people of Barcelona should be proud.

Could you tell us where we might be able to purchase more recent photographs of Snowflake - for our science photo wall.
Thank you.

The biology classes of Minster High School
Minster, OH 45865 - USA

Posted by: Gerald Conover on December 3, 2003 09:21 PM

Ask at www.zoobarcelona.com. I'm sure they can help you.

Posted by: Carlos on December 5, 2003 07:32 PM

God has given us so many special Gifts
Snowflake was one of them. I am so sad
to find out that he has passed away.
Rest in Peace.

Posted by: Robin on December 9, 2003 07:55 PM

Can anyone give me the phone number for the Barcelona Zoo? I am desperately trying to find reference material of Snowflake and their website does not list there contact details.

Thank you.

Posted by: Melanie Morris on January 8, 2004 07:22 PM

I finally got to see Snowflake in September 2003. He was as gorgeous as I hoped he would be. I was devastated when I learnt of his death. Rest in Peace Snowflake.

Posted by: Sian Othen on January 18, 2004 04:55 PM

I am so glad I got to see this beautiful unique animal before he died. I shall never forget him. Sleep well Snowflake.

Posted by: Kathy Nichols on January 30, 2004 12:40 PM

I'm an 18 year old senior at West Mesa High School in New Mexico. My English reseach paper is on Snowflake. I am learning alot about him,I've been following Snowflakes work for some time now. I am sad to hear that he died of skin cancer. If Dian Fossey were here she'd make sure to take good care of Snowflake. Snowflake gave me so much hope that their would be a new type of gorillas. I wish I could see him have a family of his own. I give Snowflake all my love and wish him the best in gorilla heaven.

If you have any comments my e-mail is Hatred@vampirefreaks.com

Posted by: Melanie Begay on February 6, 2004 11:19 AM