One of the Minnesota Zoo's older Atlantic bottlenose dolphins died Tuesday.
April, 44, had been suffering physically in recent months and was undergoing treatment when she died, said officials at the zoo in Apple Valley. A necropsy (animal autopsy) will be performed.
April arrived at the Minnesota Zoo in Jan. 14, 2008. She was on loan from the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, along with her daughter Allie. April gave birth to four calves during her lifetime.
"April was one of our most beloved animals," said Kevin Willis, the zoo's director of biological programs. "Since she arrived here a few years ago, she quickly became a guest favorite."
April enjoyed working with the trainers and "was often heard vocalizing during these interactions," Willis added. "She will be terribly missed by staff, volunteers and all the zoo guests who met her."
There are three other Atlantic bottlenose dolphins at the zoo: Allie, 23; Allie's daughter Taijah, 7 months, and Semo, 45.