Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Colossus in 1980 at Benson's Wild Animal Farm

Director Pat Quinn poses with Colossus 1988 at the Gulf Breeze Zoo. Colossus was captured in 1966 and this was the first time he was out of his "Alcatraz" pictured below.

Colossus Is Going To Finally Meet The Gorilla His Dreams .

Orlando Sentinel
Colossus, who is 6-feet-2 and weighs 570 pounds, arrived in Ohio last week as part of a cooperative breeding program among the nation's zoos.

Because Colossus was born in the wild, officials believe the introduction of his genes will help prevent inbreeding among captive gorillas.

Pat Quinn, director of The Zoo, said attempts to breed Colossus in Florida failed because the female was unable to conceive. Colossus and his prospective mate, Muke, also had trouble getting along.

While the two were in Gulf Breeze, Colossus, 28, tried to get friendly with Muke, 27, but zookeepers said Muke would have little to do with him.

Quinn said he wanted to bring Colossus to the Cincinnati Zoo because it has the best gorilla breeding record in the nation with 37 gorillas born in the past 25 years.

Colossus, Columbus Zoo 2006

April 11, 2006 05:16 PM

One of the oldest male gorillas at the Cincinnati Zoo died today.

Colossus, the 40 year male old lowland gorilla, died during emergency root canal surgery. While under anesthesia, Colossus went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived.

Born in the wild in 1966, Colossus was brought to the zoo in 1993 and spent his time at there caring for three female gorillas and acting as a father figure to many younger gorilla babies although he biologically fathered none.

The oldest male or "silverback" was brought to Cincinnati from The Zoo in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

"We are all very saddened by the death of Colossus," said Dr. Terri Roth, Vice President of Animal Sciences for the Cincinnati Zoo in a statement. "Colossus was one of the Zoo's most popular animals. We find some comfort in knowing that Colossus enjoyed 13 terrific years as an integral part of our gorilla family."

That family includes one other male, Jomo, and eight females five of which are with the new dominant male.

The Lowland Gorilla remains on the endangered species list and as few as 75,000 are left with 345 in captivity in North America. The primary threat to the gorillas are logging and agricultural expansion.

Colossus: 'Magnet for visitors' - NashuaTelegraph.com


Jim A. said...

Muke, the female gorilla mentioned, was in the St. Louis Zoo nursery when I was there. She came from Trefflich's when the Ringling show was in STL, sometime in Sept. 1966 at about one year old. (Henry T. brought her on the trip and also had business across the street at the Arena.)In Oct. 1966 STL had their first gorilla born, Muzuri, a male. After a year or so the two were kept together, emventually at the Ape House. Muzuri died of a heart condition at about 10 yrs. Muke went to several different zoos including Columbus and didn't get along with any male. Don't know, she may still be around without a man.

Anonymous said...

Colossus spent most of his life in a solitary viewing cell that was about 100 square feet. He died from lack of exercise and lousy overall living conditions. I met him and he was not happy where he was held.

Kevin G Coxen

Wade G. Burck said...

His life at Benson's had to be wretched given his "exhibit." Thankfully the animal husbandry profession has learned much more, and has advanced past the day's of keeping gorilla's in "cells."