Colo, world’s oldest gorilla in captivity, dies aged 60 at Columbus Zoo

A gorilla who spent her whole life in a zoo has died in her sleep less than a month after her 60th birthday. Colo, a Western lowland gorilla, began her life at Columbus zoo in Ohio on 22 December 1956. She was the first gorilla to be born in captivity and went on to have three children, 16 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

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, zoo president

Colo was found dead in her enclosure by zoo staff and a post-mortem examination is planned. The gorilla recently had a malignant tumour removed, but was thought to be recovering well. A party was held at the zoo in December to celebrate Colo’s achievement in living around two decades longer than expected. The enclosure was decorated with paper chains and special cakes prepared for her. Colo’s body will be cremated. Her ashes will then be buried at an undisclosed location in the zoo.