fb-pixelFatou the gorilla celebrates 61st birthday at Berlin zoo - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

Fatou the gorilla celebrates 61st birthday at Berlin zoo

Europe's oldest gorilla, Fatou, ate her birthday cake as she turned 61 on Friday.JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

BERLIN — Fatou the gorilla, believed to be one of the world’s oldest, is celebrating her 61st birthday at Berlin’s zoo — nearly six decades after she found her way to Germany from a French bar.

Zookeepers on Friday presented Fatou a rice cake decorated with the number 61 in fruit.

The zoo says she shares the title of world’s oldest female gorilla with Trudy, a gorilla at the zoo in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Still, it’s not entirely clear how old she is. Fatou arrived in Berlin in 1959, finding her way there after a sailor used the young gorilla as payment at a bar in the French port city of Marseille.


She isn’t the oldest inhabitant of the zoo, however. Ingo the flamingo, who arrived there in 1948, has that honor.

Fatou licked her fingers after pinching a bit from a decorated rice cake made for her 61st birthday.OMER MESSINGER/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
Markus Schreiber/Associated Press
Fatou ate a “rice-cake” to celebrate her 61st birthday Markus Schreiber/Associated Press