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Forestry Farm Park & Zoo prepares to say goodbye to Ma the Capuchin Monkey

For immediate release: August 23, 2019 - 2:00pm

Following an extensive veterinary examination, the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo has made a difficult decision to next week say goodbye to Ma the Capuchin Monkey.

“We don’t take a decision like this lightly,” says Zoo manager Tim Sinclair-Smith. “We know announcing this makes many of us uncomfortable about the animals we love and care for however Ma’s health and quality of life continues to decline and we have made the medical and humane decision to let her go.”

Ma has been in palliative care at the Zoo and has needed prescribed pain and anti-inflammatory medication.

“We have been managing Ma’s pain associated with aging for over a year but despite our best attempts, her quality of life has diminished and we are no longer able to control her pain,” says Dr. Dennilyn Parker an expert in Zoo, Exotic and Wildlife Medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

A Capuchin Monkey’s average life expectancy can be as much as 25 years in the wild and up to 40 years in captivity.

Ma arrived at the Zoo in 1974 from the U of S when she was about two-years-old – which makes her about 47 or older.

“With dedicated support, love and care here at the Zoo, Ma well surpassed the typical lifespan of her species,” Sinclair-Smith says.

“We are going to miss her and while we know this will have a deep effect on our staff and anyone who’s come to see her since the mid-1970s, it’s the compassionate thing to do.”