From the European Zoo Nutrition Center Newsletter
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Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, or...?
Woolly Monkeys are affected with various health and reproductive problems. In 1998, 16 Woolly Monkeys died and with only 5 surviving offspring in 1998, the EEP population had reduction by 16% compared to the status on 1 January 1998.
Many females at the Primate Park Apenheul, The Netherlands, show a reduced bodyweight during pregnancy and abortions without obvious reasons are seen quite often. Those offspring that are born at the Primate Park Apenheul frequently died at a young age. The body sizes of the young Woolly Monkeys born the last years at the Primate Park Apenheul are all considered as normal. With this decrease of bodyweight in pregnancy and high numbers of abortions, a healthy pregnancy state is highly questioned (Personal comments Jens, 2001)
Complications that arise are very similar to those of diabetes mellitus and hypertension in humans and are usually pronounced during pregnancy (Vermeer, 1993). The Woolly Monkey may be genetically predisposed to develop these conditions, but stress, unsuitable accommodation, the composition of the diet provided or pregnancy could also be involved (Verrijdt et al, 1997).
A summary of the present status of the project:
The Woolly Monkeys at the Primate Park Apenheul are disposed with diabetes mellitus, hypertension or a combination of these two. However, the points for attention during medical examinations should be signs of these health problems there is not enough accurate information available to be sure about these assumptions. The information needed should be collected through proper medical examination.