Jan 28, 2018
San Diego Zoo Safari Park announced on Friday that Vila, who was born in the Congo in 1957, died surrounded by members of her family troop.
She was the “matriarch”, they said, of five generations.
“There are very few gorillas anywhere near that age,” said Peggy Sexton, a lead animal keeper at the safari park in California. Gorillas typically live for 35-40 years.
“She will be missed by zoo members, guests, volunteers, and staff,” said Randy Riches, mammals’ curator at the safari park.
The oldest gorilla living in the care of humans is thought to be 61-year-old Trudy at Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas.
Like Vila, she was captured from the wild. A gorilla called Colo who died last year was at the time the oldest gorilla born in captivity.