UK’s Oldest Gorilla, Delilah, Marks 60th Birthday in Belfast Zoo.

Western Lowland Gorilla Delights Visitors for Over Three Decades; A Living Testament to Conservation Efforts.

Delilah, the beloved western lowland gorilla at Belfast Zoo, celebrated her 60th birthday on September 22, 2023, making her the oldest gorilla in the United Kingdom. Delilah’s milestone birthday is not only a cause for celebration but also a testament to the dedicated care provided by zookeepers, which has allowed her to thrive over the decades.

Delilah has a remarkable history at Belfast Zoo, having been part of the first gorilla troop when it arrived in the city in 1992. For more than 30 years, she has delighted visitors with her presence, captivating hearts young and old. In fact, Delilah’s fame extends beyond the zoo, as she became a small-screen star in the 1970s, appearing on the BBC’s “Animal Magic” with Johnny Morris.

Western lowland gorillas like Delilah are among the most endangered species of great apes, found in the rainforests of West Africa. Recent figures indicate that fewer than 200,000 gorillas remain in the wild, underscoring the critical importance of conservation efforts.

The fact that Delilah has reached the remarkable age of 60 is a testament to the exceptional care provided by Belfast Zoo’s dedicated team of professionals. Her longevity serves as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for the preservation of these magnificent creatures.

In a separate achievement, Lexi Chambers, a former nurse from Devon, has been honored with a Guinness World Record for her extraordinary feat of covering the greatest distance in 12 hours using a standard wheelchair. Chambers, who is a below-knee amputee and faces two chronic pain conditions, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and fibromyalgia, completed an astonishing 193 laps around Exeter Arena’s track in August.

Lexi Chambers has a history of breaking records, having previously set world records for the fastest full and half marathons in a non-sport wheelchair. Her determination and resilience serve as an inspiration to people around the world, demonstrating that physical challenges can be overcome with perseverance and support.

On a different note, a Commons inquiry has shed light on the issue of young people leaving rural Wales due to a lack of housing and career opportunities. The Welsh Affairs Committee’s inquiry revealed that insufficient housing options, limited job prospects, and unreliable public transport have been significant factors pushing young individuals out of rural areas.

In conclusion, Delilah’s 60th birthday celebration at Belfast Zoo is a heartwarming reminder of the importance of conservation efforts and the incredible bond between humans and wildlife. Lexi Chambers’ Guinness World Record achievement showcases the power of determination, even in the face of physical challenges. Meanwhile, the rural exodus in Wales highlights the need for comprehensive solutions to address the housing and career opportunities for young people in these areas.






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