Beloved Como Zoo orangutan named Amanda has died

Amanda, a beloved orangutan at the Como Zoo, has died.  (Como Friends, Facebook)

Amanda, a beloved orangutan at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, has died at age 46.

Amanda, one of the zoo's "most loved animals," was "humanely euthanized" on Saturday morning after a mass was discovered in her body that had caused chronic damage to her kidneys, Como Friends said in a Facebook post

"Unfortunately the mass, located within her lower abdomen, was determined to be difficult to remove and her prognosis for recovery and improvement was extremely poor. The difficult decision was made to humanly euthanize her," Como Friends said.

Amanda has been at the Como Zoo since she was 3 years old, arriving from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. She was known for her large and playful personality, which she used to make connections to zoogoers. And she was the "subject of countless photographs capturing her exceptional beauty," Como Friends said. She was also known for her intelligence, love of painting and listening to music.  

"Amanda was curious, mischievous, engaging, and smart. We lost a beautiful soul", said Megan Elder, Como Zoo Primate Zookeeper, Orangutan Species Survival Coordinator, and International Orangutan Studbook Keeper. "It’s crushing for me, my co-workers, and all that knew her, cared for her, and loved her. It’s no exaggeration to say she inspired generations. It’s hard to imagine Como without her."

Amanda served as an ambassador for orangutans in the wild and orangutan conservation. Orangutans are critically endangered. 

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter on Monday declared the date Amanda the Orangutan Day in St. Paul in honor of the beloved animal. 

The median life expectancy of orangutans in zoos is 28 years, but orangutans are now living in to their 40s and 50s because of the evolving field of zoo medicine, which includes geriatric care.