Idaho Falls Zoo announces passing of two animals

The following is a press release from the city of Idaho Falls.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — The Idaho Falls Zoo is sad to announce the peaceful passing of two much-loved Idaho Falls Zoo family members – Rolf, a 34-year-old male red-ruffed lemur and Kevin, a 14-year-old male Goeldi’s monkey.

Rolf was born at the San Diego Zoo on May 6, 1983 and joined the Idaho Falls Zoo family in 1995. The zoo celebrated Rolf’s 34th birthday in May, which made him the oldest red-ruffed lemur in North America and possibly the oldest in the world. The average lifespan of a red-ruffed lemur is 15-20 years. At 34 years old, Rolf was a valued ambassador –- or representative — for his critically endangered species.

Despite showing signs of his advanced age, Rolf enjoyed spending his days with his companion, Ima.

“I think what I will miss most is Rolf’s distinct call,” says Idaho Falls Zoo Primate Keeper Aaron Young. “He loved to enthusiastically greet people who walked up to the exhibit.” Vocalization is important in establishing territory and identifying each other among the forest-dwelling red-ruffed lemurs.

There are 101 different types, or species, of lemurs and they are all native only to the island of Madagascar. The red-ruffed lemur is one of the top 10 most endangered primate species in the world.

Kevin, the Goeldi’s monkey, was born Nov. 1, 2002, and came to the Idaho Falls Zoo in 2002. Goeldi’s monkey is a smaller monkey species, also known as Callimico, Goeldi’s marmoset, or Goeldi’s tamarin. Classified as a ‘vulnerable’ species, they live in family groups in the upper Amazon basin region of South America.

Zookeepers began hospice care for Kevin a couple months ago after displaying signs of age-related illness.

Idaho Falls Zoo will work with the Association of Zoos and Aquarium members to identify new companions for Ima, the red-ruffed lemur, and Tia, the female Goeldi monkey, either at our zoo or another facility.