Video: 55-year-old orangutan dies

updated 12/31/2007 12:20:33 AM ET 2007-12-31T05:20:33

A 55-year-old Sumatran orangutan, believed to be the world's oldest, has died at the Miami zoo.

Nonja, who was born on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and lived in Miami since 1983, was found dead Saturday morning.

"Everybody's very sad, especially with an animal like an orangutan," said Ron Magill, spokesman for the Miami Metro Zoo. "You see a lot of yourself in these animals. The great apes are our closest relatives."

A necropsy showed that Nonja suffered a brain hemorrhage that made her pass out and vomit. She choked on her vomit, Magill said.

Further testing will determine what caused the hemorrhage. The results could take two weeks.

A typical life span for Sumatran orangutans is 40 to 50 years.

Nonja had slowed down in recent years because of her age, Magill said.

"She was really a grand old dame," he said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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