Casting Begins For “Beloved Ivan” Statue

South Sound Magazine

Ivan the Gorilla. The mere name stirs up feelings in the hearts of folks around the Puget Sound. The silverback gorilla, who lived in a cage in the B&I Department store for decades before moving to Zoo Atlanta, is now being cast in bronze for a new statue at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The statue will include his ashes.

Ivan was born in the wild in 1962, and first came to the United States 1964. Starting at the age of 5, he was caged at the department store for just shy of three decades, from 1967 to 1995. He moved to Zoo Atlanta and while there he found a mate, but sired no children. Ivan was 50 years old when he died in 2012.

Ron Irwin, son of B&I co-owner Earl Irwin, said Ivan is “probably the best-known animal to come out of Pierce County.”

The “Beloved Ivan” piece is sculpted by local artist Douglas Granum, who was chosen out of a field of six artists. It is being cast at Tacoma’s Two Ravens Studio, and on Tuesday media gathered to watch Ivan’s head be cast in bronze.

PRESS: South Sound Magazine

To read the full article: