Buckeye Beat: Ohio’s Oldest Gorilla


Audra Meinelt/Congo Expedition Curator: "Gorillas were very rare and considered highly valuable and they didn't actually trust them to be together."

BACK IN THE 50S, COLO'S PARENTS WERE KEPT APART, BUT A PART TIME WORKER NAMED WARREN THOMAS BROKE THE RULES. Audra Meinelt/Congo Expedition Curator: "But he noticed that every month the female, Millie Christina, would back up to the mesh enclosure by the male so he stuck them together at night against the will of the zoo."

WARREN HAD TO FESS UP WHEN THE THE GORILLA GOT PREGNANT...THEN COLO ALMOST DIDN'T MAKE IT...WARREN INTERVENED AGAIN WHEN HER MOM GAVE BIRTH AND LEFT COLO ON THE CONCRETE. Audra Meinelt/Congo Expedition Curator: "Went in, picked her up, broke the sack, warmed her up and resuscitated her, so he's really responsible for Colo on two separate ways." THE FIRST EVER GORILLA BORN IN A ZOO... IT WAS UNKNOWN HOW TO EVEN CARE FOR HER...THAT'S WHERE LILLIAN TELLER CAME IN.

Lillian Teller/Colo's Nurse: "A pediatrician taught us how to take care of her like a premature baby." A CARETAKER COULD NEVER ENTER THE HABITAT NOW...BUT, BACK THEN, LILLIAN SNUGGLED COLO LIKE AN INFANT. Lillian Teller/Colo's Nurse: "I rocked her all night long lots of times." LILLIAN WOULDN'T HAVE MISSED THIS SPECIAL OCCASION, ALONG WITH SO MANY OTHERS WHO'VE WATCHED COLO GROW UP AND AGE.

Pam Schlereth/Zoo Visitor: "Because she's still here and it makes the zoo special. That says a lot for our zoo that she's still around, 60 years."

Instructional Links

Website Article & Video: Live Science, Happy Birthday, Colo! World's Oldest Gorilla Celebrates 60th

Website Article: Mountain Gorilla

Website: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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