Tomorrow Switzerland's Zoo Basel celebrates a remarkable birthday. Goma, the first gorilla ever born in a European zoo, turns 50! Unusual for the time, Goma got tremendous press in 1959 during her first year, and today we share some of these classic photos.
It should be noted that unlike zoo born gorillas today, Goma spent the first years of her life almost entirely with zoo staff. While this made her exceptionally close with humans, it made it difficult for her to enter gorilla society and it took many years for her to find her place with her fellow great apes. Today as a result of gorillas like Goma, zoos go to great lengths to ensure that their animals are comfortable with their own kind.