The Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo is mourning the loss of Spidey, possibly the world’s second oldest spider monkey. Spidey was found non-responsive with an extremely low heart rate by zoo keepers first thing Monday morning.
Keepers and zoo veterinarians were making the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him but in the meantime Spidey had already passed. His health had been rapidly declining over the last several days and he was being watched and monitored closely, zoo officials said.
Spidey was the zoo’s oldest and most beloved resident.
In the wild, spider monkeys are only expected to live around 20 years. In captivity, life expectancy is around 40 years due to veterinary care.
The Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo was lucky enough to have a vibrant Spidey that lived 50 years. He moved to Great Bend in 1965 when he was just 6 months old.
Earlier in the year, the zoo and community celebrated his 50th birthday with a party. At that time, he was believed to be the second-oldest spider monkey in the world. In 2006, Fort Rickey Children’s Discovery Zoo in Rome, N.Y., claimed to have the oldest living spider monkey, Gummy. If Gummy is still alive, he is reportedly 53 years old.
Great Bend zookeeper Sara Hamlin reported on behalf of all the zookeepers. “We are devastated. At 10 years past his life expectancy we knew this day would come, but it still doesn’t prepare you for how your heart will break when the day arrives. Spidey had such a great personality and he will be leaving behind a huge hole in all our hearts.”