World’s Oldest Spider Monkey Passes Away at Age 61 in Rome, New York
The oldest spider monkey in the world has sadly passed away. Gummy, who called Fort Rickey home in Rome, New York lived for 61 years, almost twice as long as most spider monkeys.
Chris and Rebecca Stedman, owners of the Discovery Zoo, knew this day would come, but thought it was it was never actually going to happen because Gummy just kept cruising along.
You can imagine our devastation when we discovered Gummy had passed away peacefully in her sleep.
Gummy Birthday Bash
The life expectancy of spider monkeys is around 30 to 35 years. Gummy celebrated her 60th birthday last year with a big bash at the zoo. The community came out in droves to show their appreciation for Gummy, who doubled the average lifespan of a spider monkey.
There are no words to express the many levels of grief we all feel as we imagine a world without hugs from Gummy. What an honor it was to have her in our lives.
Future of Gummy's Granddaughter Sassy
Len Cross, who first owned the zoo, was the caretaker and friend of Gummy for several years. The Steadman's informed Cross of the sad news and discussed plans for Sassy, Gummy's granddaughter. The goal is to keep her at the zoo in Rome and find a friend for her. "But it is uncertain we will find such a companion in an appropriate amount of time."
Sassy will be quite lonely and the Steadman's vow to do what needs to be done to help her through this, including possibly rehoming her to another zoo if necessary.
Celebration of Life
There are no plans for a funeral service. Instead, the Steadman's are going to celebrate Gummy's life and the mark she made on this world by continuing to educate visitors on the dire need to protect and preserve habitats for critically endangered monkeys like Gummy.
We encourage donations made to your favorite wildlife conservation foundations in her honor.
Condolences for Gummy
Condolences for Gummy, who touched a lot of lives over her 61 years, poured in on social media.
5 generations of my family saw her and we all loved her so much - Wendy Vineall Wilson
I will miss this girl greatly. Her influence on my career choice and life has been enormous. There will never be another quite like Gummy - Melanie Entelisano
I used to work at Fort Rickey for a long time and I always remember bringing Gummy her breakfast and how she always wanted to hold your hand, she was so sweet - Lydia Durant
You could just see in her eyes what a sweet and gentle creature she was - Daniel Matthew
Fly high Gummy and thanks for the memories!