COLUMBUS, Ohio — Colo, the world’s oldest zoo gorilla, has died, a month after celebrating her historic 60th birthday surrounded by thousands of fans, The Columbus Zoo announced Tuesday in a Facebook post.
“It is with great sadness we report that the oldest gorilla in the world, Colo, passed away in her sleep overnight. Colo was the first gorilla born in human care and she exceeded her normal life expectancy by more than two decades,” the zoo wrote.
Colo was the first gorilla born in captivity and was the oldest gorilla in the world, according to the zoo. She surpassed the typical life expectancy of a gorilla by some two decades.
According to the zoo, Colo was the mother three, grandmother of 16, great grandmother of 12 and great-great grandmother of three.
“Colo touched the hearts of generations of people who came to see her and those that cared for her over her long lifetime. She was an ambassador for gorillas and inspired people to learn more about the critically endangered species and motivated them to protect gorillas in their native habitat,” Tom Stalf, Columbus Zoo president and CEO, said.
There will be an “In Memoriam” banner at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for anyone who wishes to share their condolences with staff and the gorillas starting Wednesday.