Mandy, the 19-year-old mandrill with the ruby-colored snout who has delighted visitors at the Franklin Park Zoo since 1989, died while on exhibit inside the Tropical Forest.
The primate with the olive fur was “acting normally” Sunday morning but was found dead that afternoon in the exhibit, according to a statement released today. The cause of Mandy’s death was not immediately known, but she had inoperable fibroid tumors and suffered from chronic endometriosis, said Dr. Hayley Weston Murphy, the zoo’s head veterinarian. Final necropsy results will not be available for several weeks.
A close cousin of the baboon, mandrills are native to tropical forests in Cameroon and Gabon in Western Africa. They are favorites of zoo visitors because the males have brilliant blue and red noses and hairless rumps, which can also be a vibrant crimson. While the hues on females are muted, the tip of Mandy’s nose was still bright.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Mandy. Our veterinary team took extraordinary care of her as they do with all of the animals in our collection,” said John Linehan, president and chief executive officer of Zoo New England. “We have a long history of exhibiting mandrills at our Zoos and Mandy’s loss will certainly be felt by our staff and by the many visitors who have come to know her in the many years she was with us.”
In 2002, Mandy and her mate, Charley, had a son named Woody who is now exhibited at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Fla.