Phoenix Zoo primate Spock dies at 24 from long-standing health woes

Jan 18, 2019, 9:46 AM
(Facebook Photo)...
(Facebook Photo)
(Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — A lifelong resident of the Phoenix Zoo has died after a struggle with health.

The zoo announced in a Facebook post Thursday that Spock, a 24-year-old mandrill, was euthanized after a battle with a suspected cancer. The zoo said his health been chronically declining.

The post noted that Spock was loved by zookeepers for his “big personality” and that “his sassy behavior won them all over.”

Spock was born at the facility in 1994. The life expectancy of a mandrill in the wild is about 20 years, according to National Geographic, but in captivity they can live up to 31 years, said other experts.

“We will greatly miss his commanding, yet quiet presence,” the post said.

An autopsy was pending.

The zoo has lost two other animals over the past several months.

In November, a bald eagle named Polaris died. He had been at the zoo since 1987, when he was brought from Washington suffering from a broken wing.

His injuries were considered so severe it would be impossible for him to live in the wild again. Polaris stayed at the zoo to receive care and never left.

In August, an 8-year-old lion died from an infection.

His health rapidly deteriorated in less than a week after he began exhibiting signs of lethargy and was walking with a limp.

Kitambi was born at the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo in 2011 and was brought to Phoenix in 2012.

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Phoenix Zoo primate Spock dies at 24 from long-standing health woes