World's Oldest Living Male Gorilla Turns 52

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Ozzie the silverback gorilla celebrated his 52nd birthday this week, extending his record as the oldest living male gorilla in captivity, according to "Today."

The venerable gorilla was born in the wild in 1961, and spent the first half of his life at the Emory University Yerkes National Primate Research Center before moving to Zoo Atlanta in his mid-20s. He still calls Atlanta home today, living at the zoo with many other gorillas, including a couple of females of similarly advanced age: Choomba, 52, and Shamba, 53.

Ozzie is the patriarch of a still-branching family tree. He has sired 12 offspring, who in turn have given him nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren so far. The newest member of his family is Andi, a granddaughter born just last month at Zoo Atlanta.

His extended family is not Ozzie's only legacy. A few years ago, when he was 48, Ozzie became the first gorilla in the world to participate voluntarily in a blood-pressure reading using an arm cuff, bringing attention to the Great Ape Heart Project, a Zoo Atlanta undertaking that identifies, treats and prevents cardiovascular disease in gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos.

Hayley Murphy, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services and leader of the Great Ape Heart Project, said of Ozzie, "He continues to amaze me, not just as a representative of his species, but as an individual."


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He'll soon be eligible for Medicare. Plus a pension. Happy birthday!

April 29 2013 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@ 52 he's still looking good !! He's still got all his hair !! (grin)

April 26 2013 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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