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Remembering Storm, Our Red-Capped Mangabey

We are deeply saddened to share that we have said goodbye to our red-capped mangabey, Storm.

At nearly 28 years old, he was among the oldest of his species in the world, and the second oldest in any U.S. Zoo. After a recent, sharp decline in his health due to complications of chronic diabetes, our animal team made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him.  This species’ mean life expectancy under human care is 18 years. We are beyond grateful to our phenomenal team of keepers and veterinary staff who cared for Storm throughout his long life.

When we built our Zoo360 trails in 2011, Storm was the first animal in the entire Zoo to test out the revolutionary idea, which gave our animals more space to explore. He could often be seen bouncing on the section of flexible mesh near the Zoo’s main entrance, as if to personally welcome guests. Storm was born at the Houston Zoo and arrived in Philadelphia in July 1999, becoming a favorite among all staff, including zoo keepers, educators, grounds keepers, docents and our guests.

Storm was also keen observer of everything happening in and around his habitat inside Rare Animal Conservation Center. He would often watch keepers as they prepared diets and would make soft vocalizations when he knew his food was coming. He would also keep an eye on the Rodrigues fruit bats, and call to keepers to let them know if something was going on. He will be greatly missed by all of us.

Philadelphia Zoo was the first Zoo in North America to have a successful red-capped mangabey birth in 1938. Red-capped mangabeys are native to Nigeria to Gabon and considered endangered by the IUCN.

Favorite Memories from Our Keepers

Some of the keepers that have worked with Storm over the years have shared some of their favorite memories of him:

“He was a star, and he was amazing! I could be walking by in a crowd of 100 guests and he’d see me from a mile away and run the trail to the part that was closest to me. I’m not gonna lie, it made me feel pretty special! Storm was one of the best animals I’ve ever worked with. I’ll never forget him. He has taught me so much over my years of being a zookeeper at Philadelphia Zoo, and I’m so grateful for that.” Keeper Melissa G.

“I started working with Storm 7 months ago and he quickly became my favorite animal I have ever worked with. He was so special. He had a one-of-a-kind personality and was such a joy to be around. Nothing could brighten my day quite like Storm making his excited vocalization when he saw me. His presence is so deeply missed. Rest in peace to the best boy out there.” Keeper Rebecca P.

“When he first went out into the Zoo360 trails, he loved being able to climb the trees in the nodes and lookouts, but he was even more fascinated by the pressurized waterers. He spent a good half hour out there squirting water on himself and then grooming. Must have known he was getting his picture taken and wanted to look his best!” Keeper Chris O.

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