Beardsley Zoo In Bridgeport Uncovers Cause Of Exotic Monkey's Deaths

Following the death of two Callimico monkeys at the Beardsley Zoo in Fairfield County, zoo officials are underscoring its longstanding commitment to animal safety and welfare.

Monty and Jovi, exotic Goeldi’s monkeys, died last month after eating a mouse that contained a toxic rodent control product.
Monty and Jovi, exotic Goeldi’s monkeys, died last month after eating a mouse that contained a toxic rodent control product. Photo Credit: Beardsley Zoo/Lillian Staron

The monkeys, also known as Goeldi’s, named Monty and Jovi died in August at the zoo in Bridgeport, after consuming a live mouse that had been contaminated with a rodent control product, said zoo officials following a necropsy. 

"This was an incredibly rare occurrence involving a product that had been used without incident in the building for more than a decade," they added.

The control product was applied by a licensed pest management company and was never placed near animal habitats, officials said.

“Although rodent control is an ongoing issue for zoos and animal care facilities, and letting rodents proliferate is a danger to life and health for our animals, we never want to see this happen again,” Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said. “The rodent control has been removed from the building, and we are investigating other ways of dealing with rodents.”

It is standard zoo policy not to use herbicides or pesticides on Zoo grounds, he added. 

“The deaths of Monty and Jovi were a terrible occurrence, but it’s important that people know how many safety standards are in place at the zoo,” Dancho said.

Dancho pointed out that every animal care product and item is reviewed by the animal curatorial and veterinary staff. 

“From flea spray to any toy or enrichment, it all goes through a careful review. If an animal care specialist wants to give an extra 50 grams of apple to one of his or her charges, that dietary change must be approved.

“The death of any animal here at the zoo is devastating to all of us, especially those who have dedicated their lives and careers to the wellbeing of animals in their care,” he added. 

Dancho said the zoo's goal is that each member of our animal family is healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, and is able to express species-typical behaviors. 

Monty and Jovi, ages 15 and 4, were a popular attraction at the zoo. 

“Our grief at losing Monty and Jovi only amplifies our longstanding commitment to animal welfare," Dancho said.

to follow Daily Voice Westport and receive free news updates.