Colo, the primate matriach, has died at Columbus Zoo aged 60.
She exceeded the median life expectancy for gorillas in captivity by over 35 years.
She was also thought to be the first gorilla ever born in human care.
The zoo celebrated her 60th birthday in December, an event that drew hundreds of visitors.
With a heavy heart we report that #ColoGorilla passed away in her sleep. She recently celebrated her 60th birthday. https://t.co/bkHnyLRZv2 pic.twitter.com/DA3ehFdAlV
— Columbus Zoo (@ColumbusZoo) 17 January 2017
She was responsible for 34 offspring including three great-great grandchildren.
She preferred solitude in her own enclosure in later years.
Her keepers shared heartfelt tributes in a press release issued by Columbus Zoo:
She was the coolest animal I’ve ever worked with and caring for her was the highlight of my career.
It was not just about what she meant for the gorilla community but for whom she was as a gorilla.
I’m heartbroken but also grateful for the 19 years I had with Colo.
– Assistant curator, Audra Meinelt
Oryx resurrection: Saharan antelope returns to wild
The survival of the Scimitar-horned oryx, hunted to near-extinction in the 1990s, has been boosted with a large release back into the wild.
Forty six of the rare antelope have been released into their natural habitat in a remote part of Chad.
Some of the oryx were pregnant and it’s hoped the species will be able to thrive once again.
The University of Sydney believes this repopulation is possible due to the extinction in the same area of the oryx’s natural predators, lions and cheetahs.
Antarctic team to be evacuated due to ice sheet break
The Halley expedition will be moving due to a massive split in the ice shelf on which it is based.
The first scientific endeavour to recognise the hole in the ozone layer will have to find another location in November when the Antarctic winter is over.
Halley VI stands on hydraulic legs to withstand polar snows, and has sets of giant skis which enable it to move if neccessary.
The move is necessary because the shifting Brunt Ice Shelf could swallow the entire base by 2020.
The expedition will continue experimentation once it moves 14 miles inland.
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