Reid Park Zoo Mourns the Loss of a Squirrel Monkey

Reid Park Zoo is sad to announce that eight-year-old Glitter, one of its beloved squirrel monkeys, has died.

The necropsy results show she tested positive for SARS CoV-2. Glitter had a history of intestinal concerns. Her death was due to an intestinal bacterial infection and it is unclear what role SARS-CoV-2 may have played.

The COVID virus was likely transmitted from exposure to a person with COVID-19, potentially from a staff member. All masking, gloving, and eye protection protocols were in place for animal care staff caring for the squirrel monkeys and continue to be followed by Zoo staff when working with all susceptible animals.

The Zoo has two remaining squirrel monkeys, also known as tiny monkeys, in its troop. Both squirrel monkeys as well as other primates at the Zoo have been tested and are not affected at this time.
As a precautionary measure, the Zoo has been in the process of providing a veterinary COVID-19 vaccine to animals who are most susceptible to the virus, including its big cats, primates, among others.

The squirrel monkey troop had not yet been vaccinated as one of the troop members is pregnant and set to deliver this summer.

“Zoo veterinary and animal care teams continue to monitor the squirrel monkeys’ behavior and continue screening for COVID,” said Sue Tygielski, Director of Zoo Operations. “Glitter was an active and curious individual always interested in troop members as well as her care staff. She will be deeply missed.”