Samantha, Beloved Chimpanzee at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Passes Away at Age 47 After a Long Battle with CancerJanuary 29, 2022
We are mourning the passing of Samantha, a senior chimpanzee and beloved member of the Busch Gardens family. Samantha passed away on January 28 after a decades-long battle with cancer. Veterinarians from Busch Gardens and veterinary oncologists from the University of Florida took every measure to treat her condition and give her the best quality of life. Samantha passed away peacefully with her dedicated caregivers by her side.
“Samantha was an amazing part of the Busch Gardens family, and the joy she brought to our guests and to our caregivers will always be cherished,” said Neal Thurman, Park President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. “The passion and dedication that our animal care and veterinary teams have for the animals at Busch Gardens is inspiring. I commend our teams for the work they do and for the exceptional care they provide to all of the animals we are honored to care for at Busch Gardens.”
Samantha was tough and full of life throughout her long struggle with this disease. The animal care team is grieving her loss but are continuing to care for the other chimpanzees in her troop. Busch Gardens appreciates the expressions of care and concern from so many guests who loved Samantha. She will be missed.
Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN) Red List and are among the most at-risk primates in Africa, with a wild population of between 100,000 to 200,000 individuals due to threats such as hunting, habitat loss and disease. According to Project Chimps, the life expectancy for female chimpanzees is 40.1 years under managed care and slightly less in the wild (How Old is Old, 2020).