Massa was born in the wild in Ghana. He was shipped to America at an early age and his first owner was Brooklyn eccentric Gertrude Lintz. In 1935, after accidentally spilling water on Massa, which startled him severely, Mrs. Lintz decided to sell him to Philadelphia Zoo.
In his prime, Massa weighed 400 lbs.
Massa lived at the zoo until his death from a stroke on 30 December 1984, following a special birthday party held by the zoo, complete with a special cake and a live dixieland band. He was buried within the grounds of the zoo.
- Milwaukee Public Museum Exhibit: Samson Remembered
- Massa the gorilla at Find a Grave
|World's oldest living Gorilla
? – December 30, 1984
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