The Body Worlds inventor, also known as “Dr. Death” in Germany, has contacted the zoo about acquiring the body of Claudio, the dead 3-month-old gorilla that died last week, the paper reported.
“Because of the decomposition situation a sectioned plastinate won't be possible,” von Hagens told the paper. “But I would create a nice silicone plastinate.”
The abraded state of the baby gorilla's fur won't be a problem for Dr. Death, the paper added. “I need the body with muscles and skeleton – not fur,” he said.
An answer from the Allwetterzoo Münster zoo is pending as guests continue to be shocked by the sight of Claudio's mother Gana and her unshakable grief, Bild reported.
The zoo reports that tiny Claudio seemed especially weak three days before his death and he died despite zookeeper efforts. “Gorillas require a longer time period to separate themselves from dead relatives – and the mother needs this time,” the zoo said in a statement on Monday, adding that an autopsy is pending.
Von Hagens made headlines in early August when he requested the body of an orangutan that tragically drowned at the Hagenbeck Tierpark zoo in Hamburg. He said at the time that guest books from his Body Worlds exhibitions have proved that animals are the most popular attraction. He has already used the body of Arti, a gorilla that drowned at the Hannover zoo in 2000.
Von Hagens invented plastination, a means of preserving biological tissue to show how inner anatomical systems work. His plastination exhibitions have been criticized for not showing proper reverence to the human body.