By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of the Philadelphia Zoo’s popular residents celebrated his birthday Thursday.

Zoo visitors sang Happy Birthday to Louis the Western Lowland Gorilla. He’s 17.

Louis got birthday cards from children that were scattered in his enclosure, as well as a birthday cake that Luis found finger licking good.

“He likes to bang on stuff and get the people’s attention,” says Primate Keeper Chris Oberlin , who takes care of Louis. “I think he likes the reaction from the people in the crowd whenever he runs right by and they are like ‘oh!’ and he is not going to get through that glass. But he likes to sort of make his presence known.”

Among the well-wishers were eight-year-old Gabriella Evans of Levittown who knows a thing or two about apes:

“Gorillas are endangered and the zoo is keeping them here to save them.”

Birthday boy Louis and the other four western lowland gorillas at the zoo serve as ambassadors to gorillas in the wild — considered critically endangered because of habitat loss.

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