Minnesota Zoo Media Contact

If you are a member of the press, please contact: Josh Le
Communications and Media Relations Manager
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
952.431.9534 direct
952.431.9300 fax
[email protected]

Apple Valley, MINN – [October 16, 2017] – The Minnesota Zoo is saddened to report the Zoo’s resident snow monkey, Nikko (the oldest recorded in North America) passed away on Sunday, October 8 at age 34. The Zoo recently celebrated Nikko’s birthday on September 11, 2017.

Born in September, 1983, Nikko was the oldest living male snow monkey in North America (per the studbook, an international record-keeping system that is similar to a pedigree). He arrived at the Minnesota Zoo in 2001.

Said Minnesota and Tropics Trail Curator, Tom Ness: “It is never easy to lose an animal that you have worked with for so many years. Nikko’s age is a true testament to the amazing care we provide our animals here at the Minnesota Zoo. Nikko was a very special animals and it has been a tough few days.”

Snow monkey species longevity in the international studbook is age 34 for males, 39 for females. Life expectancy for male snow monkeys is 18. It’s estimated that Nikko had lived longer than 99.5% of other known male snow monkeys.

The Minnesota Zoo participates in the Species Survival Program (SSP) for snow monkeys. One of the purposes of this program is to breed Snow monkeys in order to maintain genetically healthy populations in zoos and aquariums.

Since 1978, the Minnesota Zoo has successfully birthed 116 snow monkeys, 38 of which have gone into the SSP pool since its creation in 1995. The Zoo has 25 snow monkeys in its current troop.

The Minnesota Zoo is a year-round destination located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. The Zoo’s mission is to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).