Toi, Last and Oldest Red-Shanked Douc Langur in U.S., Dies at Philly Zoo

Toi was the last and, at 21, the oldest Red-Shanked Douc langur in a United States zoo

What to Know

  • The Philadelphia Zoo euthanized Toi, a 21-year-old female Red-Shanked Douc langur, on Wednesday.
  • Toi came to the Philadelphia Zoo in 2009.
  • The Red-Shanked Douc langur is endangered in Southeast Asia.

A beloved member of the Philadelphia Zoo’s primate population, the last of her kind in North America, has died.

The zoo humanely euthanized Toi on Wednesday after a recent serious health decline, including decreased mobility and changes in behavior, in the 21-year-old female Red-Shanked Douc langur, the zoo announced Friday.

Toi was born in 1997 at the San Diego Zoo in California and came to the Philly Zoo in May of 2009, the zoo said. She was the oldest ever of the Red-Shanked Douc langur in the United States and the last one living in captivity, the zoo said.

The zoo, which has had Douc langurs since the early 1990s, called the decision to euthanize Toi a difficult but humane choice.

“Toi was a favorite of many,” zoo COO Dr. Andy Baker said in a news release. “Her gentle demeanor and unique behavior of covering her eyes with her hand endeared her to staff and visitors alike.”

Douc langurs, which are native to Southeast Asia are considered “endangered to critically endangered” by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

“Douc langurs are among the most beautiful of all primate species,” the zoo said in its news release. “Sometimes called the ‘costumed ape’ for its colorful extravagant appearance, the Douc langur sports what looks like maroon-red stockings, white forearm length ‘gloves’ and black hands and feet. Its golden face is framed by a white ruff, which is considerably fluffier in males and its eyelids are a soft powder blue color. The tail is white with a triangle of white hair at the base.”

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