Colo the gorilla is world’s oldest


Colo, the world’s oldest gorilla, celebrated her 56th birthday on Dec. 22 in the Columbus Zoo. (Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo & Aquarium)
January 11, 2013

Meet Colo the gorilla. She is one of a kind — in two ways.

On December 22, 1956, Colo was the first western gorilla to be born at a zoo anywhere in the world. She was born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio, where she has lived her entire life.

On December 22, 2012, Colo turned 56, making her the world’s oldest gorilla. (Jenny, a gorilla at the Dallas Zoo, was 55 when she died in 2008.)

Colo, who is a mother of three, grandmother of 16, great-grandmother of seven and great-great-grandmother of two, celebrated her birthday with a cake and her favorite food, tomatoes.

Western gorillas live in central Africa in the wild and are endangered because their habitats are being destroyed and they are being hunted. Here are some other facts about gorillas such as Colo.


Baby Colo, the first western gorilla born in a zoo, in 1956. (Columbus Zoo & Aquarium)

●What do they eat? Gorillas are omnivores, meaning they’ll eat just about anything — including tree bark.

●How big are they? They stand between 4 and 6 feet tall and weigh between 150 and 400 pounds.

●How long do they live? In the wild, they live about 35 years, which makes Colo one very old gorilla.

●How do they live? Western gorillas live in small family groups that average four to eight animals. A family is called a troop.

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