Sammy 2005 - 2014

  • Species: Brown Capuchin (Cebus apella)
  • Gender: Male
  • Birthday: June 27, 2005
  • Arrival: October 14, 2011
  • Deceased: October 9, 2014
  • Background: Animal Facility Closure
  • Character: Gentle

Loved with a love beyond telling;
Missed with a grief beyond all tears.

On October 9, 2014, our beloved sweet Sammy took the final leg of his journey home to freedom. He quietly passed in his habitat where he lived with his best friend Elvis. Sammy is now free from the captivity into which he was born and free of the disease that prematurely ended his life at just 9 years old. A favorite of caregivers, staff and volunteers, his loss has deeply impacted us all.

Sammy began his life as a pet. At some point, unknown to us, he was sold to a roadside zoo in Douglas, Arizona. There he lived in deplorable conditions, alone in a small enclosure placed on a concrete slab with no shade. When the zoo closed, Sammy was left with nothing to eat but weeds. Thankfully, a nearby sanctuary fed him. Jungle Friends supporters Michael and Courtney Connolly donated funding to construct a new habitat, “Scoo Town,” and arrangements were made to fly Sammy to Jungle Friends. To everyone’s delight, Sammy arrived on October 14, 2011. He was soon inspecting every inch of his new home and eating everything put in front of him!

I vividly recall exactly where I was standing at Scoo Town when I first met Sammy. He had arrived at Jungle Friends just a day or two before. Sweet, shy, sensitive and smart - Sammy captured my heart from the moment I met him. I visited him often and enjoyed singing songs that I madeup, always beginning with “Sam I am Green Eggs and Ham....” Sammy was eventually socialized with Elvis and Tyler, and while he was by far the most timid of the three boys, they lived happily together.

Sadly Tyler died of thymus cancer in April. And sometime in May, Sammy broke out in a rash that despite treatment, progressively worsened. A lymph node biopsy, numerous skin biopsies and many blood tests proved inconclusive, but possibly chronic cutaneous lymphoma. We tried eliminating gluten and other foods from his diet and switching medications, but the rash spread to his face, worsened in other areas, and he began to lose weight. The decision was made to move Sammy to the Bob Barker clinic in order to control his environment (air conditioning and no sunlight), monitor his eating, apply treatments to his rash and administer medications. After weeks in the clinic, Sammy’s condition improved, and he was reunited with Elvis who groomed him and devotedly looked after him. In the weeks that followed, his health continued on an up and down cycle. However, up until the end, we never gave up on Sammy or lost hope.

Sammy was the most gentle, sweet soul I have ever known, and I was blessed to have been one of his favorite humans. During his illness, we spent many hours together. I bought or cooked foods that I thought he would enjoy and tried to disguise his medications so that he would take them. I rarely missed a day of looking in on him. I visited him every evening when he was in the clinic and would enjoy his “coloring” for me. (Kari said he would await my visit and even knew the sound of my vehicle.)

Those of us who loved Sammy and cared for him are still inconsolable in our grief. His memory is indelible. We miss his screams of delight and happy calls - but if we listen closely, we can still hear them.

Sammy, we will miss you every day and take good care of Elvis.

Love always,
Mary Anne


BriSammy was the most amazing monkey! Everyday I try to be as strong as he was in his last few months. Everyday I try to be as kind and caring as he always was even on his toughest days. Sammy is in a better place now and is no longer suffering. I miss him more than words can explain but he is always with me and will always have a special place in my heart! I love you Sammy and I will never forget you sweet boy! ~Bri

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Watch Sammy's Memorial Video

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