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Colo Queen Of The Columbus Zoo Celebrates Year 55

Media Alert: Friday, December 16, 2011

Contact:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2011

CONTACT:                                                
Jennifer Wilson                                                     
Communications Manager

WHAT:       Colo’s 55th Birthday Celebration.
 
WHO:        Festivities are open to Zoo members and anyone who pays general Zoo admission on the day of the event.
 
WHEN:     Thursday, December 22, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 
WHERE:   African Forest region of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Media should come to the Zoo’s Business Office located on Jerry Borin Trace north of the Zoo.  Media is asked to call in advance to arrange escort to the area and interviews with animal care staff.
 
WHY:  Colo, the first gorilla born in human care, oldest gorilla in any zoo and queen of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is celebrating her 55th birthday and wants to share her special day with Zoo members and guests. Festivities kick off at 11 a.m. and include a visit from Nancy Roe Pimm, author of The Life of One Grand Gorilla, and plenty of cake for our guests and gorillas to enjoy!
 
Colo has resided at the Columbus Zoo since her landmark birth. Her name came from a national “Name the Baby Gorilla” contest. The name Colo, which is short for Columbus Ohio, was chosen from more than 7,500 entries.
 
In the late 60’s and early 70’s Colo gave birth to three children and now her family tree includes 16 grandchildren, five great grandchildren and three great great grandchildren.  While one daughter, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren reside at the Columbus Zoo many of Colo’s descendants can be found in zoos across the country.
                       
Over the past six years the Columbus Zoo's Conservation Fund and Partners in Conservation has distributed more than $4 million in conservation grants worldwide.  More than $1 million has been devoted to gorilla conservation in their range countries since 1993.
 
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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to more than 9,000 animals representing 675 species and provides more than $1 million annually to support over 70 conservation projects worldwide.  A recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Club, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium hosts more than two million visitors annually and was named the #1 Zoo in America by USA Travel Guide.  A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating. For more information and to purchase advance Zoo admission tickets, visit www.columbuszoo.org.