Trudy, believed to be oldest gorilla in captivity, dies aged 63

Trudy died at Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas this week. (AP)

A gorilla named Trudy, believed to be the oldest Western Lowland gorilla in captivity, has died at the age of 63 in the US.

A spokeswoman for The Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas said zookeepers found Trudy dead when they checked on her on Wednesday morning.

Susan Altrui said Trudy was the oldest gorilla in the records of zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, an international accrediting organisation.

Ms Altrui said it is possible but highly unlikely non-accredited zoos have older gorillas.

Zookeepers found Trudy dead when they checked on her on Wednesday morning. (Little Rock Zoo)

Trudy came to the Little Rock Zoo from Buffalo in 1988 with a male gorilla, Ollie, on a breeding loan.

Upon their arrival Trudy and Ollie made history by being the first gorillas ever exhibited in the State of Arkansas.

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While Trudy never had any offspring in Arkansas, she played an important role in the formation and longevity of one of the first multi-male gorilla groups

Syd Tanner, one of her former keepers, called her the ‘boss lady’ of her all-male group.

Trudy was also one of the last gorillas captured in the wild.

The previous holder of ‘world’s oldest gorilla’, named Colo, died at a zoo in Columbus back in 2017 at the age of 60.

Today, North American gorillas are born in zoos.

‘There are so many memories, stories and anecdotes to share about Trudy,’ Little Rock Zoo Director Susan Altrui.

‘She is a cherished member of the Little Rock Zoo family.

‘To say that she will be missed and that her absence is felt is an understatement. We are glad to know she had a good home with us here.’