The Louisville Zoo will hold a birthday party today for Timmy the gorilla, who turns 50. Timmy moved to Louisville in 2004 from the Bronx Zoo. He is a silverback leader and has three females in his group.
Cynthia Cole is a keep at the zoo’s Gorilla Forest. She says Timmy sometimes has to keep the peace in the community.
“He does it with – usually he doesn’t have to do much to calm everything down,” says Cole. “He does his job well and also interacts with the females, and you’ll see them all in a big gorilla pile in the corner, or everybody sitting in the same room. They just enjoy each other’s company as gorillas go.”
Cole says life expectancy for a silverback leader in the wild is about thirty years. Timmy is the oldest living male gorilla in North America.
For today’s birthday party, the gorillas will be served an ice sculpture with some of their favorite foods inside.
“They’re very food motivated, and Tim is definitely one of them,” says Cole. “The females in his group are probably going to get the biggest kick out of jumping on the ice and doing stuff with it. But he will definitely enjoy the food that is put inside the ice, I’m sure he’ll be able to get a couple pieces of that.”
Cole says Gorilla Forest will also celebrate by playing with a piñata. The party starts this morning at eleven.