Party animals celebrates gorilla's 34th birthday at Philadelphia Zoo

John McDevitt
January 23, 2019 - 5:16 pm
The Philadelphia Zoo held a big birthday bash for one of its popular residents, and it was more than just a party.

John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Zoo held a big birthday bash for one of its popular residents, and it was more than just a party. 

Those gathered sang "happy birthday" to Motuba, a 425-pound silverback western lowland gorilla, who turned 34 years old.

Motuba and his troop enjoyed treats for the big day. 

"In nature, the male gorillas only live to their mid 20s, so Motuba does get some things we might consider for an old man. He does get some heart medicine, he does get some arthritis medicine and they are the same meds that a person with those issues would take. But at 34, he is still quite healthy," said Michael Stern, the zoo's curator of small animals and primates.

The zoo frequently holds birthday parties for the animals to spark conversation about conservation.

"Its really important to recycle because it will help save these animals and it will help bring back their habitat," said Newtown Middle School eighth-grader Charles Gorby. "It will help clean their water sources." 

David Bednarz, another eighth-grader at the middle school, said "it teaches you to be more conservative and not just throw stuff on the ground. Like, I see so much litter on the ground every single day outside — straws, cups."