Uploaded on Feb 5, 2008
The 2011 Guinness World Records book shows that Colo is the world's oldest gorilla at 53 years old. She lives at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. She holds many more amazing records.
On Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM , the Columbus Zoo will celebrate Colo's 54 birthday.
Colo, who is also the world's first gorilla born in captivity, is the first gorilla shown in this video. Colo just turned 53 and the zoo had a birthday celebration.
She was born in 1956 and is the oldest known gorilla in the world. Colo is noted for the heart-shaped brow ridge above her eyes (She is not the gorilla shown in the still picture for this video). (Mumba, a wild born silverback male 1865, is the one with his lower lip hung open.)
Colo has left many descendants including grandchildren Mac, Jumoke, Nik, & Cassie, and great grandmother of Jontu and Muchana.
Colo was born on December 22, 1956 at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium. She is a Western lowland gorilla, who was born to Millie (also known as Christina) and Baron Macombo (Mac for short) who were captured by "Gorilla Bill" Said, of Bexley, Ohio, in the area of Africa then known as French Cameroon. Millie and Mac arrived in New York on December 22, 1950, during a snowstorm and had no planned destination!! Mr. Said, called a friend, Columbus Zoo Superintendent Earl Davis, who agreed to take the gorillas in the emergency.
Colo weighed just 3.75 lbs. and measured only 15 inches long, but she had a profound affect on world. Her birth allowed the Columbus Zoo to demonstrate that gorillas could have babies in captivity and also to contribute the information that Millie's gestation period was about 250 days-an important fact at a time when little was known about gorillas.
Colo is an amazing world record holder for many additional reasons. Colo gave birth to Emmy, the first second-generation gorilla born in captivity and became a grandmother when Cora, the first third-generation gorilla, was captive born. In addition, for ten years, Colo's grandsons, Mosuba and Macombo II, were the only gorilla twins born in the western hemisphere! Colo is also the great grandmother of Timu, the first surviving gorilla conceived by artificial insemination.
Because of Colo, the Columbus Zoo is recognized worldwide as a leader in gorilla breeding, care, habitat, and conservation. It also is one of the zoos that led the way in creating enclosures that simulate a gorilla's natural environment, allowing them to live more fulfilling lives and enlarging human understanding of their intelligence and gentle dispositions. At a time when gorilla populations in the wild are severely threatened, around 30 gorillas have been born at the Columbus Zoo.
Colo will probably have no more offspring, because she is on birth control. Some national study results have confirmed that some older gorilla females have gone through menopause, much as people do. These studies also suggest that gorillas experience perimenopause, a stage in human females during which reproductive cycles become more erratic as menopause approaches. However, to be on the safe side, she is on birth control.
Another Columbus Zoo gorilla discussed in this video is Sunshine, a huge male who once resided here and also left offspring. Sunshine, who weighs around 600 lbs. and stands at 6 feet 3 inches tall, is a giant.
**The gorilla (gorilla gorilla) is the largest of all living primates. These African apes are divided into two species and 4 or 5 subspecies. Their DNA is 97-98% identical to that of humans and they are considered the next closest relative after the chimpanzee. Gorillas can be over 6 feet tall and weight over 500 lbs. They are highly intelligent. Some such as Koko have been taught a subset of sign language. They use tools for a number of purposes.
Colo has a lot of personality in spite of her age. On May 26, 2009, Colo (age 52) escaped her cage and wandered in the hallway. The zoo closed down for 45 minutes. She finally returned after they offered her yogurt.
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