Necropsy confirms Colo died from age-related fatal arrhythmia

Colo the gorilla (CREDIT: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium)

POWELL, OH (WCMH) – The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says final necropsy results on Colo the gorilla confirm her death was age-related.

Colo, the first gorilla born in a zoo and the matriarch of the Columbus Zoo’s famous gorilla family died in her sleep in January. At 60 years of age she was the oldest gorilla on record and exceeded her normal life expectancy by more than two decades.

The zoo released a summary of results received this morning:

  • Marked renal disease consistent with age related degeneration.
  • Myocardial fibrosis, especially significant in the conduction pathways, which likely resulted in a fatal arrhythmia.
  • Previously removed mass – no evidence of recurrence or metastasis.
  • Respiratory system – mild to moderate airway inflammation, but not likely a contributor to her death (she was on antibiotics at the time of death).
  • Atherosclerosis  – not common in gorillas but consistent with her age.
  • Uterine leiomyomas (fibroids).

The zoo said the report confirmed the veterinary staff’s original supposition that her death was age related. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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