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Six new monkeys die at Oregon Zoo

by: KOIN NEWS 6 - A Tamarin monkeyThe Oregon Zoo launched an investigation to find out how six monkeys died in quarantine just days after arriving.

The six cotton top tamarin monkeys arrived in Portland from Boston and were at the zoo for two days. The investigation is pending the results of a post-mortem.

Nine monkeys arrived Saturday, May 24, but just two days later, six were dead. Of the three survivors, one was a baby.

“I’ve never seen this kind of situation before,” said Oregon Zoo veterinarian Tim Storms. “It’s shocking to me, personally.”

“We’re shocked through all the processes trying to figure out options,” he said.

Storms said the zoo believes they may have been overly stressed from the trip – from Harvard University — but it is highly unusual they would all die at the same time.

Tamarin monkeys, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, are “any of numerous small chiefly South American monkeys (genera Saguinus and Leontopithecus) that are related to the marmosets and have silky fur, a long tail, and lower canine teeth that are longer than the incisors.”

These monkey deaths follow the death of a 20-year-old orangutan in January. Three weeks ago, Oregon Zoo Director Kim Smith and senior veterinarian Mitch Finnegan were fired over that incident.

A report found lapses in protocol were not reported adequately.