SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Sacramento Zoo announced Friday that its director and CEO, Mary Healy, has died.

Zoo officials say Healy had left port in Ecuador Thursday and was on her way to the Galapagos Islands when she suffered a cerebral aneurysm. Later Thursday, Healy was declared brain dead and then suffered a massive heart attack.

Healy, who was born in 1953, had been the director of the Sacramento Zoo since December of 1999 and is credited with directing the construction of a full-scale veterinary hospital at the zoo, among other renovations. She began her career as a bird keeper for the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in South Carolina.

The Sacramento Business Journal had presented Healy with a Women Who Mean Business award last year, the zoo noted.

Healy’s family is asks that anyone wishing to send flowers instead make a donation to the Sacramento Zoological Society.

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