Buddy Boy 1988 - 2009

  • Species: Common Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri scuireus)
  • Gender: Male
  • Birthday: January 1, 1988
  • Arrival: August 19, 2004
  • Deceased: June 2, 2009
  • Health Issues: Blind
  • Character: Kind Soul

It is a very sad day for us here at the sanctuary since Buddy Boy, our little blind squirrel monkey, left us this morning. Yesterday Lizzi, one of our caregivers, noticed that Buddy wasn't feeling very well.

I went to check on him and found his breathing was labored and very shallow. His respiration was 120, about twice what it should be…I feared he had pneumonia and called the vet school. Dr. Meegan was on call and we decided that Buddy needed to go in.

Dr. Meegan put Buddy on oxygen immediately and started him on an antibiotic. She called me later that day with good news: Buddy's respiration was better, he was sitting up and was happily eating cantaloupe and other goodies. Dr. Meegan and I decided that he should stay overnight at the vet school and see how he was in the morning before we made any diagnostic decisions. The vet students checked on Buddy every two hours through the night and he seemed to be getting better and better.

By morning his respiration was back to normal; he was sitting up and eating. They thought it must have been pneumonia since he was responding so well to the oxygen and antibiotic. About 9 am, when the doctors brought Buddy out of his oxygen tent to check his heart and lungs, they heard a definite heart murmur and fluid in the lungs. Seconds later his little pink lips were turning blue. He stopped breathing about 30 seconds later, and the doctors were unable to revive him. They believe that congestive heart failure was the cause of Buddy's death.

Buddy Boy arrived at Jungle Friends on August 19, 2004 when he was retired from research. His monkey companions Moses, Gilbert McGreedy and Howard, accompanied him. Buddy, along with his friends, was stolen from his home and family in the rainforest when he was a youngster and housed alone in the laboratory for nearly two decades.

Buddy BoySince Buddy was blind when he arrived, we weren't sure he would ever venture outside, but Buddy did go outside for the first time in September of 2005. During Buddy's adventure he climbed around much more than we had expected. He did not appear to be nervous at all, just very happy about being outside, feeling the warm sun on his tiny body. It was a little breezy that day and Buddy seemed to enjoy the wind in his face that brought the fragrance of other parts of the sanctuary to him. He would reach down to the earth floor grabbing at pieces of plant and grass. All of Buddy's senses were engaged. Since that day, Buddy was outside nearly every warm sunny day lying in the sun -- his favorite pastime.

Buddy BoyBuddy was a favorite here at Jungle Friends. He was a wonderful soul who always made the best of everything. Even on Buddy's last day on earth, he was eating his favorite foods and holding onto the fingers of the kind folks at the vet school who held him in their gentle care.

Buddy touched many hearts during his lifetime. He was probably about 24 years old, which is getting up there in squirrel monkey years. We are happy that Buddy was able to spend his 'Golden Years' out of the laboratory and at Jungle Friends. He was very close to my heart and I miss him already. We will never forget our little Buddy Boy.

Lots of monkey love,
Kari and the monks