Happy birthday to Colo: Oldest gorilla in U.S. turns 60 years old

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The 60th birthday of the country’s oldest known living gorilla is putting a focus on care for aging zoo animals.

Colo is a female gorilla at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. She celebrates her milestone on Thursday — and there will be a live stream of the celebration beginning at 12:30 p.m. CST.

Colo is the first gorilla in the world born in a zoo and has surpassed the usual life expectancy of captive gorillas by two decades.

She is a mother of three, grandmother of 16, great-grandmother of 12 and great-great-grandmother of three. Zoo officials recently removed a malignant tumor but say she’s doing well.

Experts say improved medical care, better nutrition and up-to-date therapeutic techniques are helping lengthen zoo animals’ lives.

The changes also mean more animals living with the aches and pains of growing older.