Reid Park Zoo Announces Death of Squirrel Monkey Dazzle

Dazzle, a squirrel monkey at Reid Park Zoo, has passed away following pregnancy complications.

“The entire team is deeply saddened by this loss,” said Adam Ramsey, Reid Park Zoo’s Animal Care Manager. “I want to take a moment to thank the keepers for their diligent work caring for Dazzle during her pregnancy and preparing for her to give birth, and to the veterinary team for their tremendous efforts to see her through labor.”

As Dazzle’s pregnancy progressed, the animal care team began 24-hour monitoring of the squirrel monkeys, both in person and remotely via camera. Dazzle went into labor overnight Monday and the team began a direct watch of her labor, monitoring contractions and other behaviors. Initially, she appeared to be experiencing normal labor. However, over time, Dazzle started exhibiting symptoms that indicated her labor was not progressing and signs of distress were noted.

In consultation with the Squirrel Monkey Species Survival Plan Advisor, a decision was made that emergency care was needed and the Zoo’s veterinary team moved forward with a thorough hands-on evaluation of Dazzle. An ultrasound was performed, which revealed that the baby did not have a heartbeat. The medical team performed an emergency cesarean section. Following the C-section, the team attempted to resuscitate the baby but was unsuccessful.

Dazzle’s surgery was successful; however, despite aggressive medical management in the hospital’s intensive care unit, the severity of her condition prevented her from making a full recovery. Dazzle passed away on Tuesday. A full necropsy will be performed to gather more information about both Dazzle and her baby.

“Dazzle was among the smallest in size of all the animals at the Zoo, but she will forever occupy a huge place in the hearts of all who knew her,” said Nancy Kluge, Reid Park Zoo President & CEO. “Dazzle was a strong and charismatic monkey who will be dearly missed by staff, volunteers, and Zoo guests alike.”

Reid Park Zoo is home to one remaining squirrel monkey, Parker. The squirrel monkey Species Survival Plan has made identifying companions for Parker as its top priority. In the interim, the Animal Care team will dedicate additional resources to ensure Parker’s social and welfare needs are met.