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One of Zoo Miami's oldest primates euthanized due to steep decline in health

Prisilla was zoo's last Lar gibbon

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MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – One of Zoo Miami's oldest primates was euthanized Monday afternoon after she experienced a steep decline in her health, zoo spokesman Ron Magill said Tuesday in a news release. 

Prisilla, an endangered Lar gibbon, was diagnosed with a non-treatable condition that severely deteriorated her quality of life, according to Magill.

She was the last Lar gibbon at the zoo.

Magill said Prisilla, who was the zoo's third oldest primate, was estimated to be more than 48 years old and was the third-oldest Lar gibbon in North America.

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He said she was one of the last animals at Zoo Miami that was born in the wild and she first arrived at the zoo in May of 1981.

During her life at the zoo, Prisilla produced eight offspring that have all since gone on to start their own families in other facilities, Magill said. He said she was the longtime mate of "Fang," who was the oldest member of his species in the Western Hemisphere at the time of his death.

Lar gibbons are native to Southeast Asia and eat a variety of fruits, leaves, flowers and insects. They also occasionally eat bird eggs, Magill said. 

"Unlike monkeys, which have tails, gibbons are tailless lesser apes, which are in a separate branch of the primate family," Magill said.

Magill said Lar gibbons spend most of their time in the tree canopy, where they sometimes cover gaps of more than 30 feet in one swing.


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