Gorilla dies at Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo staff is mourning the loss of the second member of the species survival plan to be euthanized this summer.

According to a press release issued by the zoo,  Samantha – a 37-year-old Western Lowland Gorilla – had to be put down after suffering a serious stroke early Monday.

The zoo also said goodbye to Molek, it’s oldest orangutan, in late June.

Samantha’s stroke, which followed a previous stoke in mid July, left her in critical condition.

The first stroke left her completely paralyzed on the right side of her body.

“With Samantha’s recent stroke and after previous consultation internally and with other physicians, it became evident that euthanasia was the most humane course of action,” Dr. Graham Crawshaw, the Zoo’s Senior Veterinarian said in the release.

Samantha had five offspring with mate Charles, a silverback gorilla, two of which are still at the zoo – eight-year-old daughter Shalia and her five-year-old son Sadiki.

“They are a family,” Matt Stephenson, the Toronto Zoo’s Gorilla Keeper said. “Samantha was Charles’ favourite for decades and was an integral part of the family.”

He added that zoo staff will also miss the eldest, dominant female gorilla at the zoo.

“I will particulary miss her ‘singing’ at breakfast and dinner, and those purrs and rumbles she made that were like music to the soul, which always brought a smile to my face,” Stephenson said.