The El Paso Zoo said the spider monkey named Angel was euthanized due to its old-age-related decline in health.
Zoo officials had been keeping a close eye on Angel since October when she began showing signs of cognitive decline and weakness. Employees said keepers had to hand-feed and give the animal supplements to maintain its weight.
“She was a very sweet and kind soul, very gentle. Her absence will be deeply felt by all staff at the zoo and especially those of us that were really close to her,” said Jen Aydelotte, Senior Keeper.
Angel arrived at the El Paso Zoo in 1969. She had three offspring and two grand-offspring.
The 47-year-old monkey was reported to be the second-oldest in the world, according to International Species Information System (ISIS), which provides information about living animals in zoological facilities around the world.
ISIS says the life expectancy for spider monkeys in an environment-controlled zoo setting is 40 to 50 years.
Keepers said the other monkeys will notice that she is gone and will feel her absence. She was the matriarch of the group, said a zoo employee.