On September 10, 1941, Phil the Gorilla took up residence at the St Louis
The St. Louis zoo bought Phil & three other gorillas for a grand total of $14,000. Phil was featured in a park display.
Phil’s weight eventually topped out at 776 pounds. As a result he was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest lowland gorilla in captivity.
His normal diet consisted of 22 pounds of vegetables a day. Interesting enough, Phil loved orange soda. He had at least one a day along with two gallons of milk.
Phil quickly became a zoo favorite. The public grew quite concerned when he became sick and stopped eating. His fans even brought food from their own homes for him in order to entice him to eat. The local newspapers gave daily updates on Phil’s health.
Phil died on December 1st, 1958. Naturally his death made front page news! An autopsy determined that Phil died of ulcerative colitis. Not to disappoint his fans, Phil was stuffed by Schwarz Studios and was put on display at the zoo.