Retrospective Pathology Survey of Captive Mangabeys in North American Zoos, 1985–2006
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2007
Amanda M. White1, DVM; R. Scott Larsen2, DVM, MS, DACZM
1School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA; 2Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA


The Species Survival Plan for mangabeys has recommended three of the seven living mangabey species to be target species in North America: the red-capped mangabey (Cercocebus torquatus); the golden-bellied mangabey (C. chrysogaster); and the black mangabey (Lophocebus aterrimus). These species have been kept in captivity in the U.S. since the 1870s, but there is limited information on causes of morbidity or mortality in the captive setting.1

In this investigation, a pathology survey was conducted in order to better define the causes of mortality in captive mangabeys. Surveys were distributed to 25 zoological institutions in North America. Gross and/or histopathology reports were received from 19 institutions (76% return rate). Of known mangabey mortalities between 1980–2006, reports were obtained for 34 of 48 red-capped mangabeys, 20 of 27 golden-bellied mangabeys, and 7 of 11 black mangabeys. The reports were reviewed, and animals were categorized by species, age, and sex. Primary, secondary, and incidental lesions were recorded, and these findings were used to calculate the percentage of deaths caused by specific diseases, and to evaluate the effect of signalment on these proportions. Trauma was a frequently reported cause of death in neonates (<1 month) and appeared clustered at individual institutions. Islet amyloidosis was commonly reported in mangabeys >15 y old, and many of these cases were associated with an antemortem diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. Further in-depth studies of husbandry, management, and breeding histories are warranted to evaluate risk factors for these conditions and to suggest potential interventions.


The authors thank all of the institutions and individuals who contributed pathology information for this retrospective study.

Literature Cited

1.  Field LP. Mangabeys. Cercocebus and Lophocebus. North American Regional Studbook. 4th ed. 01 March 2007.


Speaker Information
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Amanda M. White, DVM
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California
Davis, CA, USA

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