Big Chucky 1995 - 2011

  • Species: Brown Capuchin (Cebus apella)
  • Gender: Male
  • Birthday: August 21, 1995
  • Arrival: September 11, 2010
  • Deceased: February 3, 2011
  • Character: Charming

On September 11, 2010, Chucky arrived at Jungle Friends because his 'owners' felt they could no longer care for him. He was 15 years old, and had lived with the same people his entire life. After his 'owners' left the sanctuary, poor Chucky searched and searched for them, not sure where he was or why he was left here. He had several seizures that evening. Since he had no history of seizures, we attributed it to stress. Our vet prescribed medication and that helped. We asked Chucky's humans to come back so Chucky would know that he had not been abandoned and that he was in a safe place. We comforted Chucky the best we could and our dedicated carestaff checked on Chucky through the night, until his humans arrived the next morning. When his humans arrived, Chucky perked up, but they could only stay for the day.

Chucky began making friends with our carestaff, and even noticed the other monkeys. Although we had to hand-feed him every day when he first arrived, he started eating quite a bit on his own. Because all of his teeth had been removed, he was on a special diet. All in all, we felt that he was settling in as well as could be expected, given that he was obviously grieving the loss of his humans.

Chucky hadn't had another seizure in weeks, but he did have significant medical problems.There were multiple issues due to previous 24/7 diapering. Because of the seizures and his odd gait, Chucky was x-rayed. His radiographs showed degenerative changes of his right hip. The hip dysplasia caused poor range of motion of his right rear leg and his left knee was severely arthritic. There was significant muscle atrophy of his lower body, especially in his hip muscles. Our vet was consulting the University of Florida about a hip replacement so Chucky might walk more normally and without pain.

Unfortunately, Chucky died soon after his last visit to the vet. He toppled over while having a drink of water, observed by one of our carestaff, who immediately rushed to him. The vet was called and we raced to the vet's office with Chucky in our arms, giving him mouth-to-mouth the entire trip. He was gone before we arrived, but the vet told us that we did everything that could have been done.

The necropsy report states "cause of death was a tear in the gastric fundus at chronic ulcer." While we cannot be certain, another seizure may have caused him to fall, and this pressure caused the ulcer to rupture. Still, I feel that Chucky died of a broken heart.

Even though Chucky was only here for a few weeks, he will always be remembered for his quirky looks and his huge toothless smile. He charmed everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. Chucky will be greatly missed. He stole our hearts.