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Oldest snow monkey in North America dies at Minn. Zoo

An undated photo of Nikko, the oldest snow monkey in North America, who died Oct. 15, at the Minnesota Zoo. He was 34 years old. (Courtesy of the Minnesota Zoo)

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. -- The oldest snow monkey in North America died Sunday at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.

Nikko, a Japanese macaque (commonly referred to as snow monkeys), celebrated his 34th birthday in September, according to a news release issued Monday by zoo officials.

Nikko nearly doubled the average life expectancy of his species, which is 18 years, the news release said. He arrived at the zoo in 2001.

“It is never easy to lose an animal that you have worked with for so many years,” zoo curator Tom Ness said in the release. “Nikko’s age is a true testament to the amazing care we provide our animals here at the Minnesota Zoo. Nikko was a very special animal and it has been a tough few days.”

With the loss of Nikko, the zoo’s snow monkey troop now includes 25 animals.

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