“We recognized recently that medications just could not keep up with her advancing condition and had to make the tough decision,” Evans said. “Fortunately, she did not appear to be suffering as much as simply losing energy and fading away towards the end with her family around her.”
The team said Samantha’s foster daughter, Elle, is doing well with her father, Jomo, and sister Mona.
Evans, who worked with Samantha for 35 years, said she was an inspirational individual and that she was the “boss.”
“The keepers who care for her are also inspirational and even during these challenging days, had laser focus on her wellbeing and went out of their way to see her final days through with expert care and deep compassion,” Evans said. “They are my heroes.
“Right now, it is impossible to imagine that Samantha won’t be around anymore, but we are very lucky we have her amazing 50-year legacy to dwell on and celebrate.”
The zoo recently paid tribute to Samantha with a 50th birthday celebration. The great grandmother shared a cake made of her favorite foods with the rest of her family.
Samantha lived with more than 40 gorillas in her lifetime and has a large, extended gorilla family throughout North America.