US & Canada

Gorilla Samantha, 37, dies at Toronto Zoo after stroke

Samantha the 37 year old lowland gorilla
Image caption Samantha was born in Gabon, where gorillas are becoming endangered

Longtime Toronto Zoo resident Samantha, a 37-year-old western lowland gorilla, was euthanized on Tuesday after suffering a second stroke.

The 37-year-old gorilla had been a fixture at the zoo since it opened in 1974 when she was 2.

She had five offspring, two of which remain at Toronto Zoo along with her mate Charles, a silverback gorilla.

Matt Stephenson, the zoo's gorilla keeper, said he would miss Samantha who "always brought a smile to my face".

The zoo's chief veterinarian decided euthanasia was the most humane option after the stroke on Monday - her second in two months - left Samantha in a critical condition.

The first stroke paralyzed the right side of the gorilla's body.

Samantha was born in Gabon, West Africa, where gorillas have become endangered as a result of hunting and habitat destruction, including logging and mining.

She was part of a species survival plan for these western lowland gorillas.

"I will particularly 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," Mr Stephenson said in a statement.

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