It’s always a fun occasion when a zoo celebrates the birthdays of one of their animals. But one zoo recently had a lot to celebrate, after one of their most special animals hit a major milestone.
That’s a very impressive age to hit — western lowland gorillas only live 30-40 years in the wild, though can reach into their 50s in human care. Needless to say no one like Ozzie has ever hit 60 before.
“Gorillas are considered geriatric after the age of 40,” Zoo Atlanta writes.
So of course, the zoo had to celebrate this historic achievement in style, wishing their oldest gorilla a very special birthday. And what kind of birthday party would it be without cake? Ozzie got his very own multi-tiered ice cake, specially made with frozen fruit.
And he seemed to enjoy the surprise:
Coincidentally, Ozzie’s birthday — June 20th — happened to land on Father’s Day, which was fitting because Ozzie is the patriarch of the zoo’s gorilla exhibit.
According to Zoo Atlanta, Ozzie has 20 descendants, including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He shares a habitat with three female mates in an area designed for senior gorillas.
In producing so many offspring, Ozzie has played a significant part in helping to repopulate the western lowland gorilla population, which has declined in recent decades and is now considered a critically endangered species. The gorillas’ mating is overseen by the AZA Species Survival Plan.
“Ozzie has made lasting contributions to the future of his species in his years at Zoo Atlanta,” the zoo writes.
Happy birthday, Ozzie! Congrats on reaching such an amazing age and continuing to hold the record as the world’s oldest male gorilla. Here’s to many more great years ahead!
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