OPEN 9:30 A.M. TO 6:00 P.M. DAILY Support Your Zoo | About Us | Contact |

<< Return to Press Room


Woodland Park Zoo - Press Release


March 18, 2013


Statement regarding death of patas monkey


Gigi Allianic, Caileigh Robertson
206.548.2550 |


An 8-year-old patas monkey at Woodland Park Zoo was humanely euthanized due to a severe fracture to the left leg. Shown in the photo is the male monkey named Kyle.

Photo credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo


A male patas monkey at Woodland Park Zoo sustained a leg fracture during a transfer to a temporary holding enclosure on zoo grounds on February 28. Due to the severity of the injury, the 8-year-old monkey, named Kyle, was humanely euthanized.

We undergo a thoughtful and carefully planned process when moving any of our animals to a different enclosure or to other institutions to minimize stress on the animals. These transfers usually go smoothly, but in this rare instance, an animal was injured. We are always saddened by the loss of an animal, whether from illness, old age or an injury, and the loss of Kyle is no exception. 

The monkey was being moved from his African Savanna exhibit to allow modifications in the sleeping quarters to help improve the care of this species. He was accidentally injured during the process of shifting him to a kennel for the move. Animal managers suspected an injury, but it was not apparent how severe the injury was; they contacted the zoo’s veterinarians to inform and ask them to sedate the monkey for further examination. The veterinarians responded after finishing another medical procedure. 

The exam on the monkey, including radiographs, confirmed a severe fracture to the left leg. Preliminary necropsy findings identified a contusion to the brain. Kyle already was missing a limb because of a life-saving operation in 2011 due to a bone infection. Now, because patas monkeys are largely terrestrial animals, his quality of life would be severely compromised. The decision was made to humanely euthanize him during the examination. 

A female patas monkey remains at the zoo and is off public exhibit for several weeks while modifications are being made to the holding enclosure. Two other females new to the zoo will join her when she returns to the exhibit. 

Patas monkeys, native to Africa, are primarily ground-dwelling primates and are often found in open bush and grass savanna regions. Their long, slender arms and legs enable them to run up to 35 miles per hour. When required, a patas can go from 0 to 33 miles per hour in three seconds. Patas monkeys are frequently hunted for meat and are sometimes considered pests since they raid crops. Heavy cattle grazing and the conversion of savanna areas into farmland have reduced available habitat. In some instances, deforestation has converted once humid areas into drier savanna zones, which actually increases suitable habitat for patas monkeys.