Monday 25 June 2018

One of the world’s oldest gorillas is 61 today

She’s also having her cake and eating it, too.

The female Gorilla Fatou eats a 'rice-cake' to celebrate her 61st birthday at the zoo in Berlin, Germany (Markus Schreiber/AP)
The female Gorilla Fatou eats a 'rice-cake' to celebrate her 61st birthday at the zoo in Berlin, Germany (Markus Schreiber/AP)

By Isabel Togoh, Press Association

Fatou, one of the world’s oldest gorillas and a “living legend”, is celebrating her 61st birthday today.

The sexagenarian, who lives at Berlin Zoo, had a life of adventure before arriving in Germany from the south of France in 1959.

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Her exact age is not known, but as a youngster, a “hard-drinking sailor” used her to pay his tab at a bar in Marseille.

She eventually made her way to Berlin Zoo and is believed to have been two years old when she arrived.

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Today, Fatou has been savouring a rice-based birthday cake adorned with blueberries, strawberries and grapes – a delicacy which she can only enjoy occasionally due to the high sugar content.

Dr Andreas Knieriem, director of the zoo, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating Fatou’s 61st birthday today. She is a living legend and a part of Zoo Berlin history.”

The gorilla shares her record age with Trudy, another female gorilla who lives in Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas, United States.

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Fatou, a western lowland gorilla, is one of the few animals at Zoo Berlin born in the wild, and her species is facing the threat of extinction due to poaching and environmental destruction.

Press Association

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