Oldest Gorilla Celebrates Her 56th Birthday

The first gorilla born in a zoo has proved you are never too old to party, as she celebrated her 56th birthday.

Colo, a western lowland gorilla, opened a pile of presents at her home in Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio, where she was born in 1956.

Guests sang Happy Birthday to the primate, as she munched through a cake prepared by zookeepers and a helping of her favourite food - tomatoes.

Colo, named after the city in which she lives, is a mother of three and has more than two dozen descendants living at zoos across the United States.

Western lowland gorillas are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resource's Red List as a critically endangered species.

Scientists estimate that their population will have decreased by more than 80% between 1980 and 2046, with poaching and loss of habitat partly to blame.

In the wild, the gorillas can be found in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Nigeria.