World's oldest known gorilla dies aged 60

Colo was the first gorilla born in captivity, back in December 1956

World's oldest known gorilla dies aged 60

Image: Grahm Jones / Columbus Zoo

A gorilla believed to the world's oldest has died at the age of 60, a US zoo has confirmed.

Colo (short for Columbus, Ohio) was born on December 22nd 1956 at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and was the first ever gorilla born in captivity.

The Western lowland gorilla was raised by zookeepers after being rejected by her mother at birth.

Colo had three children - as well as being the grandmother of 16, great grandmother of 12, and great-great grandmother of three.

Colo died in her sleep overnight, less than a month after her 60th birthday - having exceeded the gorilla life expectancy by around two decades.

Tom Stalf, president and CEO of Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, said: “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.”