Oldest of zoo gorillas turns 59 at Columbus Zoo

Colo at her 58th birthday celebration in 2014 (Columbus Zoo)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A gorilla that officials say is the oldest known gorilla living in a zoo is celebrating her 59th birthday with a party.

The Columbus Zoo says the female western lowland gorilla, named Colo, is celebrating with toys and an ice cake containing treats such as clementines and tomatoes frozen inside. Online viewers can see Colo’s habitat draped with colorful construction paper chains and watch zoo staff and visitors serenade her in a live broadcast.

Colo was born at the zoo in 1956 and has more than two dozen descendants at zoos across the country.

The zoo says more than 4,000 people around the world watched last year’s birthday broadcast.

Zoo officials say the median life expectancy for female gorillas living in a zoo is about 37 years.

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