The World’s Oldest Gorilla Turns 60

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Tony Maples Photography


December 22nd was an exciting day for Colo, the western lowland gorilla, the Columbus Zoo, and wildlife researchers across the globe. ABC says the “mother of three, grandmother of 16, great-grandmother of 12 and great-great-grandmother of three” turned 60!

Colo was the first gorilla born in a zoo, and now she boasts a new claim to fame. She’s the oldest gorilla in captivity, in fact, she has surpassed the expectations of a captive gorilla’s life expectancy by an incredible 20 years.

She receives regular medical treatment and recently had a malignant tumor removed. Dr. Tom Meehan, a lead veterinarian at the Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, said, “Colo just epitomizes the advances that zoos have made, going all the way back to her birth at Columbus.”

The Columbus Zoo was very excited about the occasion. They even set up a live stream of her birthday party and showered Colo with gifts and treats. Click here to watch the video of the zoo employees setting up her habitat for the party with streamers and singing “happy birthday” along with zoo guests as Colo walks in to her surprise party.

The second oldest known gorilla is Ozzie, a male living at the Atlanta Zoo. He turned 55 in June.