Cincinnati Zoo’s oldest mammal, Samantha the gorilla, dies at 50

Cincinnati Zoo’s oldest mammal, Samantha the gorilla, dies at 50
Photo courtesy of WCPO-TV

CINCINNATI — Samantha, the matriarch of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens’ gorillas, was humanely euthanized Sunday morning. She was 50 years old.

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Age-related health issues were affecting Samantha's quality of life, Ron Evans, zoo curator of primates said.

Yesterday, we lost our oldest animal, Samantha the 50-year old lowland gorilla, who played such a giant role here at the...

Posted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Monday, March 30, 2020
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Evans added Samantha was on heart medications that could not keep up with her advancing condition. He said the gorilla did not appear to be suffering as much as simply losing energy.

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Samantha was born at the zoo 50 years ago and had exceeded her life expectancy for her species by more than a decade. Popular with visitors, Evans called Samantha an "inspirational individual."
Evans said the gorilla team's attentions have now shifted fully to Samantha's foster daughter, Elle, who is doing well with her father, Jomo, and her sister,