Yusufu, Mandrill, deceased


Remembering Yusufu

April 26, 2024 | 2 minute read

With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our beloved 20-year-old male mandrill, ‘Yusufu’.

Last month, during their daily morning check, our vigilant Animal Care staff noted a sudden change in Yusufu’s behaviour, accompanied by signs of significant abdominal discomfort. Diagnostic testing under anesthesia by our Animal Health team revealed signs consistent with an acute serious intestinal issue. Based on his deteriorating clinical condition he underwent emergency abdominal surgery which revealed a large portion of his small intestine was significantly compromised and needed to be removed. Though Yusufu remained stable during the procedure, and despite the incredible efforts of the Animal Care, Health & Welfare (ACHW) team, tragically he passed away during recovery from surgery.

His necropsy revealed previous episodes of abdominal inflammation, significant changes in the removed intestinal segment, and degenerative changes in his heart. Additional information will be confirmed once histology results are available. The median life expectancy for mandrills in human care is 18.3 years.

Yusufu, born at Zoo de Granby in August 2003, became part of the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo family in April 2014, alongside his sister, ‘Layla’. With his larger size and striking colors, Yusufu was easily recognizable and a favourite zoo resident to staff, volunteers, and visitors alike.

Saying goodbye to the animals we love and care for is never easy, especially when the loss is sudden and unexpected. Mandrills are a social species, and our ACHW team has been carefully monitoring Layla’s behaviour while the team works with the AZA Species Survival Plan (SSP) to find her a new suitable mandrill for companionship.

We know our community will share in our deep sadness at this news. Yusufu will be greatly missed by staff, volunteers, and our community. Please keep our ACHW team in your thoughts during this difficult time.