Koko the Chimp turns 50 at Whipsnade Zoo

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The zoo’s oldest mammal marked its momentous milestone at the weekend

A chimpanzee at Whipsnade Zoo has celebrated her 50th birthday.

Koko, the zoo’s oldest mammal, marked her birthday on Sunday (June 4) by tucking into her favourite foods – gem lettuces and cherry tomatoes – before playing in the sunshine with younger chimps Phil, Grant and Elvis.

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Keeper Grant Timberlake said: “Koko might have just turned 50 but she’s still in brilliant health, thanks to the dedicated care of our zookeepers and veterinary team.”

Pictured: Koko, aged 50Pictured: Koko, aged 50
Pictured: Koko, aged 50

Born at Dudley Zoo, Koko moved to London Zoo when she was nine, before heading to Dunstable aged 33. Despite having arthritis, Koko lives a full life with low-level laser treatments soothing her inflammation.

Grant added: “Particularly when she sees her favourite food, it’s like she’s 20 years young again – climbing and swinging as fast as she can through the trees to reach it.”