COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Columbus Zoo has announced some very sad news: Colo, the world's oldest zoo gorilla, has died.
The zoo posted on its Facebook page:
"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."
Tom Stalf, Columbus Zoo president and CEO, went on to say, “At the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium our mantra is to touch the heart to teach the mind. 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."
Just last month, Colo celebrated her historic 60th birthday surrounded by thousands of fans.
According to the zoo, Colo was the mother three, grandmother of 16, great grandmother of 12 and great-great grandmother of three.
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 tomorrow Wednesday, Jan. 18.