The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is sad to report that Maude, a geriatric grey-cheeked mangabey, was humanely euthanized April 14. Maude well surpassed the typical lifespan (early 30s) of her species. She was 41 years old.
Maude was born in the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Ind., Feb. 25, 1973, and came to the National Zoo in 1977. During her first year at the National Zoo, Maude’s right arm was severely injured by a gibbon in an adjacent enclosure, requiring her arm and hand to be amputated below the elbow. The loss of her right hand, however, did not affect her quality of life. Maude lived with many species at the National Zoo, including other mangabeys, colobus monkeys and macaques, and lived in many areas of the Zoo, including the old Monkey House, the Great Ape House and most recently Think Tank.
Maude moved to Think Tank in 2011 to provide companionship for the Zoo’s elderly Sulawesi macaque, Spock. Due to their advanced ages, the two had outdoor and indoor spaces that catered to their specific needs. Though both animals had arthritis and other medical ailments associated with advanced age, the primate team made many modifications to their enclosures to ensure their comfort and ease in maneuvering around their exhibit. Maude enjoyed sitting out in the sun, eating grass and could often be found soaking up the rays in the outdoor enclosure with Spock.
The grey-cheeked mangabey is a species of Old World monkey found in central Africa. An arboreal species, these monkeys live in the upper canopy in social groups led by a dominant male. Listed as “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, mangabeys, as well as many other primate taxa, are still decreasing in population due to hunting and habitat loss. Maude was the last remaining grey-cheeked mangabey in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ population.