The oldest cotton-top tamarin in Australia and Alexandra Park Zoo's much-loved mumma monkey, Solita, sadly passed away over the weekend.
The 24-year-old primate, who has shared an enclosure at the local zoo with her daughter Turbo since 2015, passed away in her enclosure late Sunday.
Zoo group supervisor Kate Beskeen said while staff still await test results to confirm the cause of death, age was a significant contributor.
“This is a very sad and hard time for zoo staff, with every animal having a special place in our hearts,” she said.
“Solita will be greatly missed, not only by staff and her daughter Turbo, but also the whole community who delighted in visiting her at Alexandra Park Zoo.”
Impressive history of Solita
Solita lived a full life in captivity, born more than 24 years ago in America and spending much of her early days travelling back and forth to Canada before heading to Perth Zoo for a breeding program.
She was then moved to Alexandra Park Zoo alongside her daughter Turbo as part of ongoing conservation efforts.
Reaching her 24th lap around the sun was a remarkable feat, with cotton-tops known to have an average lifespan of just 13.5 years.
During that time Solita had contributed greatly to ongoing efforts in boosting cotton-top tamarin numbers, having 24 offspring during her life born in 12 litters.
Turbo mourns mum Solita
Kate said Solita had a very happy seven years at Alexandra Park Zoo with her daughter, and the two were inseparable.
“As one can imagine, Solita's passing has impacted Turbo greatly,” she said.
“Keepers will continue to monitor her well-being and we are doing everything we can to make her grieving process as comfortable as possible.
“She has been given soft toys that smell like Solita and needs plenty of space over the next few days.”
Cotton-top tamarin and quoll zookeeper talks at Alexandra Park Zoo have been cancelled.