Happy Birthday, you living doll! The gorgeous western lowland gorilla pictured in this post is the oldest male gorilla in North America. His name is Timmy and I’m beyond mad about him. He’s the pride and joy of The Louisville Zoo and he’s having a birthday – He’ll turn 50 on January 17th. Is that a milestone or what?!
From The Louisville Zoo:
Timmy, a western lowland gorilla, will be celebrating his special milestone indoors at Louisville Zoo’s Gorilla Forest on Saturday, January 17.
The party begins at 11 a.m. when Timmy will be given a custom-made ice sculpture cake created and donated by Galt House Hotel and Suites Executive Chef Brian Riddle. Other gorillas will also be celebrating the momentous occasion with special treats, and gorilla keepers will be available throughout the day to interact and take questions from guests.
In celebration of Timmy’s milestone and the Zoo’s recent announcement as the No. 1 zoo in North America for cell phone recycling efforts in 2008, visitors and families who bring and donate an old cell phone to the Zoo during the month of January and February get a special discounted admission rate of $5 per person. Zoo members as well as children 2 and under enter free.
“We hope people will come out and celebrate with us,” Gorilla Forest Supervisor Roby Elsner said. “Timmy is definitely special, and this day is an important testament to the wonderful care our animals receive at the Zoo.”
Louisville Zoo’s award-winning Gorilla Forest is on the forefront of gorilla management and meets the demographic trends of current gorilla populations like geriatric gorillas.
“With the extraordinary care our animals receive, the Zoo has an important role to play in caring for an increasing number of aging gorillas” Elsner said. “Gorilla Forest is a great home for Timmy because this unique facility allows close keeper contact with him all day long and the freedom for him to make choices about his environment that can increase his comfort, like staying inside or going outside.”
Born in 1959, Timmy is a laid-back silverback adored by female gorillas in his group which currently includes Paki, Mia Moja and Kweli. Before arriving at Louisville Zoo in 2004, Timmy lived at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Bronx Zoo.
The Louisville Zoo has a total of 11 gorillas including Helen, 51, who is the third oldest gorilla in North America (there is a tie for first at age 53), and Timmy who ties for the fourth oldest gorilla overall in North America. There are a total of 355 gorillas currently housed in 52 Zoos in North America (168 males and 187 females).
Click the pictures below (as well as the one at the top) for larger versions. When cropped, they make gorgeous wallpapers for your computer’s desktop. I love having Timmy look over my work – but my cat Alexa isn’t too sure what to make of him.
The bottom picture might be my favorite – love that face!
Happy birthday, Timmy and congratulations to the Louisville Zoo for being such an exceptional zoo. We’re very fortunate to have the Louisville Zoo… as are the animals!