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IDA Questions Monkey Death at Woodland Park Zoo

March 18th, 2013 by Nicole Meyer

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In Defense Of Animals Urges USDA Investigation Following Reported Negligent Death Of A Monkey At Woodland Park Zoo

Seattle, Wash. (March 18, 2013) – In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international animal protection organization, is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate a disturbing report about the brutal handling and death of a monkey at the Woodland Park Zoo.

“According to information we received from a Woodland Park Zoo employee, if zoo staff followed proper procedures, this monkey would likely be alive today,” said IDA spokesperson Nicole Meyer. “Any report about animal suffering is disturbing, yet this case is especially egregious given the allegations that this monkey endured extremely painful life-threatening injuries, and was left to languish for a prolonged period of time without medical intervention.”

According to the zoo employee, a male patas monkey suffered grave injuries several weeks ago when zoo staff, reportedly operating against the advice of keepers, captured the monkey with a net. An internal email dated March 2, 2013, obtained by IDA, confirms the monkey suffered a severe compound leg fracture, a traumatic brain injury, and extensive bruising. Zoo staff reportedly placed the injured monkey in a kennel following capture, yet despite his serious injuries, the monkey languished in the kennel alone for an estimated two hours without medical attention or medication to alleviate his pain. A veterinarian eventually euthanized the monkey.

In a complaint submitted to the USDA, IDA points out that the reported incident may violate multiple provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including improper handling of an animal and failure to provide adequate veterinary care.

“The last hours of this monkey’s life were full of terror and pain, as evidenced by information received from the zoo employee and the internal email detailing the monkey’s injuries. This reported case demonstrates a disturbing lack of respect, empathy, and compassion for a vulnerable animal and raises the question of whether other similar cases at the Woodland Park Zoo never see the light of day,” said Meyer. “IDA is asking the USDA to conduct a thorough investigation and to hold zoo staff accountable for this alleged incident.”