PORTLAND – Six monkeys died while in quarantine at the Oregon Zoo Saturday, zoo officials confirmed.
The monkeys arrived Thursday, May 22 and were found dead Saturday afternoon.
“Six cotton-top tamarins — a species of small New World monkey — died of unknown causes this weekend while in quarantine at the Oregon Zoo’s veterinary medical center,” said zoo spokesman Hova Najarian.
Najarian said the monkeys were part of a group of nine tamarins. Three tamarins, including a 5-week-old baby, are still alive.
Najarian said the surviving monkeys appear to be in good health and are being closely monitored.
The initial necropsies couldn’t determine a cause of death. Samples were also sent to a pathologist to try and obtain more information about why the animals died.
Zoo officials said they expect results in a few weeks.
The zoo recently came under fire for the death of 20-year-old orangutan 'Kutai.' Both the zoo's director and senior veterinarian were let go following an investigation into incidents surrounding the orangutan's death.
The deaths of the cotton-top monkeys are appear to be less related to the zoo's veterinary practices than Kutai's death, due to the fact that the monkeys died just two days after being brought to the Oregon Zoo.