Local Zoo’s Silverback Gorilla Oldest in World

Ramses the silverback gorilla | Image by Fort Worth Zoo/Twitter

Ramses the silverback gorilla celebrated his 52nd birthday at the Fort Worth Zoo last Wednesday.

April 12 was all the more special because it solidified Ramses’ position as the oldest known silverback gorilla in the world, per WFAA.

Other members of his species residing in the mountains of Africa typically live to age 35.

Considered the most endangered gorilla species, silverbacks face the threat of habitat destruction and poaching, per Wild Republic.

Another species of gorilla — the slightly smaller Western lowland gorilla is also housed at the Fort Worth Zoo.

Just last November, baby Bruno joined his mother Gracie, father Elmo, and brother Gus, as The Dallas Express reported. He won’t be fully grown for another 15 years.

Gorillas can live for over 50 years in captivity. This means that while Bruno has a long way to go, Ramses is right on target with his recent milestone.

Ramses lives in the zoo with his mate Amani but he is no longer on display because of his age.

“Being in the back area, we’re able to keep a closer eye on him during the day and make sure that he’s doing okay,” Linda Roberts, the zoo’s primate supervisor, said, per People. “So we get to see him more, and we get to interact with him more, and we can judge how he’s doing better.”

There are still other gorillas to see at the zoo, such as Bruno. Although he is still very dependent on his mother, the way he clings to her has captured many zoo visitors’ hearts, as The Dallas Express reported.

Nonetheless, some of Ramses’ antics can be viewed on the zoo’s Twitter account.

One video shows Ramses enjoying an orange, strolling around his habitat, and sticking his tongue out during a routine wellness check.

Silverback gorillas are around 6 feet tall and weigh about 350 pounds. To maintain their physique, they spend most of their day foraging and eating food.

As they age, they can face issues similar to those we do as humans, including achy joints, hearing loss, and poor eyesight.

With regards to Ramses, he has a relaxed no-schedule lifestyle in retirement at the zoo, per People. It has been his home since 1992.

The Fort Worth Zoo staff, patrons, and fans around the world are hoping that he will have many more birthdays to come.

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