National Zoo euthanizes elderly macaque

WASHINGTON – An elderly macaque who suffered from arthritis and diabetes was euthanized Thursday, the National Zoo announced.

The Sulawesi macaque, named Spock, was 27 years old. The typical lifespan for this species is 18 years.

During the past few months, zookeepers and veterinarians noticed Spock experienced a decline in mobility, appetite and weight.

He had undergone orthopedic surgery to stabilize his arthritic knee and ankle joints. Staff also changed his enclosures to increase his comfort and mobility. His diabetes was managed with medication and changes to his diet.

Born in 1987 at the Oregon Regional Primate Center, Spock was donated to the National Zoo along with other Sulawesi macaques in 1995. He was the last of the species still living at the zoo.

The creatures are native to Indonesia and take their name from the island of Sulawesi. They are critically endangered, and the animals are illegally traded as pets or killed for meat.

These macaques have black skin, black hair, compact bodies and limbs of equal length. They have a crest of long hair on the top of their heads.

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