On August 21, Animal Care Staff at Lincoln Park Zoo made the difficult but responsible decision to euthanize Caruso, a 30-year-old male white-cheeked gibbon.
Caruso was incredibly well-known throughout the community due to his gregarious and amiable demeanor. He enjoyed interacting in daily training sessions with keepers, even making vocalizations for his favorite food and enrichment items. Best known for his ‘singing’, Caruso and his mate Burma were often heard over the years performing their loud ritualized duet in the mornings.
Beginning in April, Caruso presented mobility issues from a sudden disc-related problem. Following extensive diagnostic measures, Veterinary and Animal Care Staff had the ongoing challenge of managing his declining health. He has been closely monitored and treated throughout this period to provide the best possible care.
Caruso arrived at the zoo in 1993. During his time in Chicago, Caruso sired four offspring with his mate Burma as part of the White-Cheeked Gibbon Species Survival Plan® (SSP). Burma continues to do well and has been residing near Caruso throughout his care and treatment at Helen Brach Primate House. Caruso was one of the oldest white-cheeked gibbon males in the current Association of Zoos and Aquariums population.
“Having been an integral part of Lincoln Park Zoo for the past 27 years, it’s difficult to express the impact Caruso has had on our zoo family, as well as the community as a whole”, said Curator of Primates Jill Moyse. “From swinging across his habitat to greet guests to forming deep bonds with keepers, Caruso’s larger than life personality will be immensely missed.”