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OKC Zoo: 53-year-old female orangutan euthanized

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Zoological Park and Botanical Garden says Toba, a 53-year-old female Sumatran orangutan, was humanely euthanized on Saturday after she was diagnosed to be in advanced stages of heart and kidney failure.

“Toba was truly a special animal, who connected with Zoo guests and caretakers alike,” said Roby Elsner, OKC Zoo curator of primates. “The impact she’s had during her 44 years at the Oklahoma City Zoo is immeasurable. As sad as we are by her loss and as much as we will miss her, we will work to ensure her legacy of inspiring guests to protect wildlife and wild places lives on.”

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A beloved member of the OKC Zoo’s animal family, Toba, a 53-year-old, female, Sumatran orangutan, was humanely euthanized on Saturday, January 11. "As sad as we are by her loss and as much as we will miss her, we will work to ensure her legacy of inspiring guests to protect wildlife and wild places lives on.” Since arriving at the OKC Zoo in 1975, Toba has delighted millions of guests and helped spread the critical message of habitat and species conservation. She was an amazing ambassador for her species survival plan (SSP) and has five offspring who have subsequently produced two generations of offspring. She was the second-oldest Zoo born Sumatran orangutan in the US. Toba’s longevity is a testament to the incredible healthcare and welfare she received from the Zoo’s animal care teams during her life. Click the link in our bio to learn more about Toba's life at the OKC Zoo. 📸: Andrea Johnson and Sabrina Heise

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Officials say Toba had been under veterinary care for the last week for symptoms of decline including difficulty breathing, limited movement and loss of appetite.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums reports the median life expectancy for a female Sumatran orangutan is 33.5 years.

Born in 1967 in Germany’s Nuremberg Zoo, Toba came to the OKC Zoo in 1975.

She was the second-oldest zoo-born Sumatran orangutan in the US.

During her life, she had 5 babies who have gone on to produce another generation of Sumatran orangutans.

According to Toba’s primary caretaker, Stephanie Smith – “We all affectionally referred to her as the “queen” of our primate habitat. She quietly observed all of the day-to-day operations, receiving extra treats and attention whenever caretakers passed by her.”

The Oklahoma City Zoo is also home to Sumatran orangutan breeding pair male, Elok, 19, and female, Negara, 26.

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