Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 18th, 2009
The oldest male gorilla in a North American zoo celebrated his 50th birthday surrounded by females and snacking on fruit. Won’t most American males want it that way?
The Louisville Zoo had a party Saturday for Timmy, a silverback gorilla. Zoo officials report he is the oldest male and is tied for fourth oldest gorilla overall in North America. They say it’s rare for male gorillas to reach his age.
Timmy and three female gorillas in his pack were given a 300-pound ice sculpture “cake” shaped like the number 50, with frozen fruit juices and other treats.
Born in 1959, Timmy is a laid-back silverback adored by female gorillas in his group which currently includes Paki, Mia Moja and Kweli. Before arriving at Louisville Zoo in 2004, Timmy lived at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Bronx Zoo.
The Louisville Zoo has a total of 11 gorillas including Helen, 51, who is the third oldest gorilla in North America (there is a tie for first at age 53), and Timmy who ties for the fourth oldest gorilla overall in North America. There are a total of 355 gorillas currently housed in 52 zoos in North America (168 males and 187 females).