Philadelphia Zoo says goodbye to beloved red-capped mangabey
Storm was among the oldest species in the world and second oldest in any US Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo is mourning the loss of its 28-year-old red-capped mangabey, Storm. Under human care, the red-capped mangabey’s life expectancy is 18 years. In an organizational release,1 the zoo stated, “We are beyond grateful to our phenomenal team of keepers and veterinary staff who cared for Storm throughout his long life.”
Storm experienced a significant decline in health because of complications associated with chronic diabetes, so the animal team made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him.
Fast facts about red-capped mangabeys
These one-of-a-kind creatures2:
Have red hair on the top of their heads (hence, their name), white collars, and white eyelids.
Usually hold their tails over their bodies while walking.
Are more eager to leave the trees compared to some other mangabey species.
Prefer the lower-level branches of the understory when in the trees.
Live in multi-male and multi-female groups of 14 to 60 individuals.
In the release,1 some of the Philadelphia zookeepers expressed their fondest memories with him. “He was a star, and he was amazing! I could be walking by in a crowd of 100 guests and he’d see me from a mile away and run the trail to the part that was closest to me. I’m not gonna lie, it made me feel pretty special! Storm was one of the best animals I’ve ever worked with. I’ll never forget him. He has taught me so much over my years of being a zookeeper at Philadelphia Zoo, and I’m so grateful for that,” said keeper Melissa G.
“I started working with Storm 7 months ago and he quickly became my favorite animal I have ever worked with. He was so special. He had a one-of-a-kind personality and was such a joy to be around. Nothing could brighten my day quite like Storm making his excited vocalization when he saw me. His presence is so deeply missed. Rest in peace to the best boy out there,” added keeper Rebecca P.1
The Philadelphia Zoo built its Zoo360 trails in 2011, and Storm was the first animal in the facility to test out the new concept, which provided the animals more space to roam. He could usually be found bouncing on the section of flexible mesh near the zoo’s main entrance, “as if to personally welcome guests.”1 Storm was born at the Houston Zoo and arrived in Philadelphia in July 1999, and quickly became a fan favorite among all staff and visitors alike.
“When he first went out into the Zoo360 trails, he loved being able to climb the trees in the nodes and lookouts, but he was even more fascinated by the pressurized waterers. He spent a good half hour out there squirting water on himself and then grooming. Must have known he was getting his picture taken and wanted to look his best!” stated keeper Chris O, in the release.
Additionally, Storm was observant of all things happening in and around his habitat inside Rare Animal Conservation Center. He would often watch keepers when they prepared diets and would make soft vocalizations when he knew his food was coming. He would also watch the Rodrigues fruit bats, and call to keepers to make them aware if something was going on.
In 1938, Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo in North America to have a successful red-capped mangabey birth. Red-capped mangabeys are native to Nigeria to Gabon and considered endangered by the IUCN.
We are deeply saddened to share that we have said goodbye to our red-capped mangabey, Storm. News release. Philadelphia Zoo. April 3, 2023. Accessed April 4, 2023. https://www.philadelphiazoo.org/news/remembering-storm-our-red-capped-mangabey
Red-capped mangabey. Philadelphia Zoo. Accessed April 4, 2023. https://www.philadelphiazoo.org/animals/red-capped-mangabey