|Found: 525 pound Lowland Gorilla "Samson"|
as seen by visitors through glass
at the New Milwaukee County Zoological Park,
101 No. 100 St, Milwaukee, Wis.
Copyrighted by the L.L. Cook Co.
from an Ektachrome Transparency. Circa 1960.
Viewing Samson in his baby blue tile display case at the Milwaukee Zoo, with its thick glass smeared from his pounding fists and accented by his pungent odor, remains a vivid childhood memory. Ever a performer, Samson reportedly watched and reacted to people watching him acting outrageously make spectators jump back and gasp. Samson was legendary even to Wisconsin rural kids like us. His death from a heart attack in November 1981 at the age of 32 made the news. This herbivore whose diet included bread and meat for a time suffered five major heart attacks before pounding his chest one last time and falling dead before an audience.