The famous chimpanzee Julius’ 40th birthday was celebrated with gifts and fruits at Kristiansand Zoo.
“He is not like us, who look forward our birthday for many days, but he notices that there is something special today,” said animal keeper Hildegunn Johannessen just before the official celebration began on Thursday morning.
Julius and the rest of the chimpanzee troop received both gifts and fruits.
“He has been celebrating his birthday for 40 years now, so he knows a little about birthday celebrations,” said Johannessen.
Rejected by his mother
Julius was born on Christmas Day in 1979.
His mother rejected Julius a few weeks after the birth, and so he lived for a long time with the zoo’s doctor Billy Glad, the zoo’s director Edvard Moseid and with zookeeper Grete Svendsen.
At adulthood, Julius struggled to find his place among the rest of the chimpanzees, and he lived for many years in what became known as the Julius Cave.
Leading the troop
Not until 2006, when the then leader of the chimpanzee troop died, was Julius again integrated into the troop. He had lived in the Julius Cave for nine years.
Julius was accepted as the leader of the troop, which he still is today.
The troop consists of nine chimpanzees.
Julius became known throughout the country when NRK Children’s-TV made a series about him in the early 1980s. Terje Formoe’s song “Here Comes Julius” became a huge hit at the time.
In 1989, Julius was chosen by the Fædrelandsvennen as the ten-year-old Southlander.
Julius is a West African chimpanzee, a subspecies of chimpanzee.
There are only between 25,000 and 55,000 West African chimpanzees left in the world, according to the Zoo.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today