The Sacramento Zoo reported today Executive Zoo Director/CEO Mary Healy died of a cerebral aneurysm.
Healy was on her way to the Galapagos Islands on Thursday when she suffered the aneurysm.
Later that day she was declared brain dead and then suffered a massive coronary heart attack.
Healy began her career in the zoo profession as a birdkeeper at the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in South Carolina. Years later, after a stint with a Disney animal park, she became Sacramento Zoo director in 1999.
Under Healy's direction, a full-scale veterinary hospital was built at the Sacramento Zoo and numerous animal habitats were renovated.
Healy's family has asked that no flowers be sent. Donations in her memory can be made to the Sacramento Zoological Society.