Great Bend veterinarians Dr. Mike Malone and Dr. Jackie Corbett paid a visit to Great Bend’s Brit Spaugh Zoo on Wednesday, conducting a physical examination of a male grivet monkey named Tupac.
The zoo also has two female grivets, Rhonda and Acia, Zoo Curator Marge Bowen said. Their age is unknown, but zoo records show all three were purchased in 2007 from the Lolli Bros. Market in Macon, Mo.
The grivet monkey, also known as the green monkey or velvet monkey, is found in the savannahs of Africa and lives to be up to 17 years old in the wild. In captivity, their life expectancy is about 30 years. Its distinguishing features are the long white tufts of hair on either side of its face.
In the wild they are omnivores, eating plants, insects and eggs. Their zoo diet consists of monkey biscuits, fruits, vegetables and protein. One of the “fun facts” on file for this species is that grivets have different warning calls for different predators.
Tupac was caught with a net and carried to the zoo’s animal exam room in the main building, the Raptor Center. A window allows zoo visitors to watch whatever is going on in that room, which is often in use on Wednesday afternoons. Malone said he and Corbett try to do a physical exam of each primate at the zoo every year.
After the monkey was knocked out with gas, the veterinarians planned to take a sample of its blood, urine and feces for testing; look in its eyes, ears and nose; and test its range of motion in all of its joints. They also trimmed its nails and cleaned its teeth, tested for tuberculosis and gave it a rabies vaccination.