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Aug 9, 2014 9:08 PM by Associated Press

Noted California zoo director dies while on a trip

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Officials say the executive director of a zoo in Northern California has died unexpectedly during a trip overseas.

Mary Healy, the executive director and chief executive officer of the Sacramento Zoo, died Thursday while traveling to the Galapagos Islands.

Zoo spokeswoman Tonja Candelaria said Saturday the 61-year-old Healy had left a port in Ecuador by ship when she suffered a cerebral aneurysm and was declared brain dead.

Candelaria says Healy was headed to the Galapagos Islands on business and vacation to see animals in the wild and their habitats. Healy's husband was traveling with her.

The widely respected Healy, who had been the Sacramento Zoo's director for nearly 15 years, also worked at zoos in Texas and South Carolina and at a Disney animal park in Florida.

A vigil for Healy is scheduled in front of the zoo Saturday evening.

Memorial services are pending.

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