Vila, one of world’s oldest gorillas, dies in captivity at 60

Vila Gorilla eating kaleImage copyright
San Diego Safari Park/ Facebook

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Vila was the head of five generations, the safari park said.

One of the oldest gorillas in the world has died at the age of 60.

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.

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Image copyright
San Diego Zoo Safari Park/ Facebook

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The safari park posted on Facebook that Vila enjoyed eating “gorilla-friendly cupcakes”