The world’s oldest gorilla is treated to a basket of fruits and vegetables on the occasion of her 66th birthday | I feel good
The oldest western lowland gorilla in captivity is one year older today. To celebrate, Fatou received an edible bouquet of flowers and a basket full of fruits and vegetables from her caretaker at the Berlin Zoo.
Gifts containing lots of berries – her favorite food – were easier to chew because the female gorilla had no teeth. According to her regular caregiver, Fatu is very old. “In nature, gorillas live between 45 and 50 years. In zoos, it is much older, but 66 years is really very special,” Ruben Graalke told German media.
He has been taking care of Fatou for the last 25 years. The secret behind her old age? “Especially vegetables. She used to eat the latter raw, but for about ten years now, we have to cook it first,” continued the chargé d’affaires. He is also the neighbor of birthday boy Jett, since he has been living in a staff accommodation at the Berlin Zoo since 2011. From his apartment above the Great Monkey House, it only takes five minutes to get to work.
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Fatu has been in the zoo since 1959. She was estimated to be two years old at the time. It is said that a French sailor brought it from Africa and delivered it to a tavern in the port of Marseille to pay his outstanding bill. The landlady contacted the Berlin Zoo, which was already known to breed monkeys. The zoo was ready to take in the female gorilla, after which the French lady flew to Berlin with her in the cabin.
In 1974, Fatu gave birth to her first and only offspring, Duft, a female who died in 2001. Since 2009, the mother gorilla has been separated from the rest of the group because of her age.
In 2019, the Guinness Book of World Records listed Fatu as the world’s oldest living captive gorilla. Before that, Trudy, a gorilla from 1956, held the title, but on July 24, 2019, she breathed her last at the Zoo in Little Rock, Arkansas in the United States at the age of 63.
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