The Akron Zoo is sad to announce the death of their 14-year-old female golden lion tamarin, Ana. Ana was humanely euthanized on Thursday, Sept. 27. Ana has been treated for age-related illnesses such as cataracts, and most recently, chronic pneumonia. The latter caused severe breathing issues. After Ana stopped responding to treatment, the veterinary staff made the decision to humanely euthanize her.
Ana was born on June 4, 2004 at the Woodland Park Zoo and came to the Akron Zoo in 2008. The median life expectancy for golden lion tamarins is 11 years, 6 months.
Ana gained media attention in June 2017 when the Akron Zoo, along with Clear Choice Laser Center, Cleveland Eye Clinic and Great Lakes Veterinary Specialists, performed surgery to remove her cataracts. It was believed to be the first cataract surgery on a primate of that size – Ana weighed in at only approx. 1.25 pounds. The cataract surgery was a success, but Ana never truly regained her full eyesight.
Akron Zoo animal care staff were able to create a special, modified bedroom for Ana and her limited eyesight. The keepers worked daily with her to train her to rely on her others senses, such as hearing and touch, to move around her bedroom.
Golden lion tamarins are endangered due to habitat loss from deforestation in Brazil. The Akron Zoo participates in the Golden Lion Tamarin Species Survival Plan (SSP) as an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facility. The Akron Zoo also collects aluminum cans for Cans for Corridors, a program that recycles cans to replant trees in the Brazilian rainforest. Cans for Corridors was implemented by the Akron Zoo Chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK).