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Columbus Zoo Marks Gorilla's Extraordinary 59th Birthday

Colo received gifts of toys, fruit and a cake to mark her 59th birthday at the Columbus Zoo.
Sam Hendren
/
89.7 NPR News
Colo received gifts of toys, fruit and a cake to mark her 59th birthday at the Columbus Zoo.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has marked a very special birthday.  Colo the gorilla was born at the zoo December 22, 1956.  She was the first gorilla born in a zoo and also is believed to be the oldest gorilla in the world.

An estimated two-and-a half million visitors see Colo annually at the Columbus Zoo.  Dozens came out Tuesday to wish her well on her 59th birthday.

Colo may be a great-great-grandmother with a touch of arthritis, but otherwise she's in good health.  Zoo director Tom Stalf calls Colo an ambassador.

“She's a wonderful lady who has lived many, many years and if you talk about breaking a record every single day, Colo breaks a record.  She's nearly doubling the life expectancy of gorillas,” Stalf says.

Colo received cake, toys and treats including her favorites,  clementines and tomatoes.