Phil the Gorilla
N 38° 38.112 W 090° 17.323
15S E 735995 N 4279783
Quick Description: Phil the Gorilla thrilled thousands of St. Louis Zoo visitors before his death in 1958.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 7/19/2007 11:12:09 AM
Waymark Code: WM1W95
"Phil the gorilla, who lived at the Ape House from 1941 to 1958, was one of the all-time favorite animals at the Saint Louis Zoo.
One of the largest gorillas on record, Phil was popular with zoogoers for years because of his size and his friendly antics with the Saint Louis Zoo's first director, the late George Vierheller.
Phil was one of four young gorillas imported from French Equatorial Africa (now Cameroon). He was brought to the Saint Louis Zoo on September 10, 1941, by animal collector Phil Carroll, for whom he was named. At two or three years of age, the young gorilla weighed 25 pounds.
Phil's adult size is still debated today. After he died, he was taken to the city scales in a pickup truck. They weighed the truck with Phil and then weighed it without him. The difference was 776 pounds. This weight was not Phil at his heaviest, for he had stopped eating for several weeks previous to his death, due to the intestinal parasites which caused his death.
In the book "Zoological Garten Leipzig," published in 1972, Phil's weight was listed at 776 pounds. In that same year, the "Guiness Book of Facts" disputed this weight, quoting a letter from Marlin Perkins that estimated Phil's live weight at 615 pounds. The latest estimate in 1975 by zoologist David Willoughby, using a method of calculating weight by measuring bones, estimated Phil's heaviest live weight at 550 pounds.
Sometime after his death on December 1, 1958, a mounted exhibit of Phil was prepared by Schwarz Studio. This exhibit of Phil is a part of the Safari Shop near the Zoo's South Gate entrance."
quoted from http://www.stlzoo.org