A monkey who had been injured last month trying to stop an intruder from stealing his son after an apparent break-in at a Kansas zoo, has died. On Tuesday morning, the 32-year-old Tufted Capuchin monkey was found dead at the Wright Park Zoo in Dodge City.
According to the Wright Park Zoo Facebook page, the monkey named Vern underwent surgery for a broken knee after the break-in. A younger monkey named Pickett was found wondering loose within the city limits and returned to the zoo.
Vern had to wear a cast on his leg and had been isolated from the other monkeys. He never recovered.
After an investigation, Dodge City Police suspect someone tried to break into the enclosure and hurt Vern as he tried to protect his son, Pickett. The injuries appeared to have been caused by blunt force trauma.
“Wright Park Zoo staff and the City of Dodge City are deeply saddened to announce the sudden passing of Vern, the Capuchin Monkey, on October 29, 2019.
Vern was found unresponsive by staff early in the morning, and while the Zoo’s contracted veterinarian did everything they could to revive him, he passed away at the vet clinic. The cause of his sudden decline is unknown at this time; however, a necropsy will be done to try and determine the cause.”
Vern came to the Wright Park Zoo in 1988 with a female, Charro; both one-year-old at the time. Their two youngest offspring – boys Jack and Pickett reside at the zoo. The population of Capuchin monkeys has steadily declined as they have faced habitat loss, thefts for the pet trade and threats of deforestation in South America.
Police are asking the public to help find the person responsible for hurting the monkeys. Additional security measures have since been installed to protect the animals at the zoo.
(Screenshot via Metro)
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