MANHATTAN (KSNT) – The Sunset Zoo in Manhattan is mourning the loss of Dempsey, a 21-year-old, gibbon Monday. Gibbons are small apes that live in tropical rainforests.

In January of 2020, Dempsey was diagnosed with kidney disease. He was on daily medication and dietary changes to slow the disease but by January of 2022 the disease had taken a toll.

“Several days ago, keepers noticed that Dempsey was showing increased lethargy, decreased appetite, and a change in behavior towards his family, which was out of the ordinary. On June 10, veterinary staff anesthetized him and transported Dempsey to K-State Veterinary Health Center for further testing,” the Sunset Zoo said in a statement Monday.

Dempsey’s kidneys had shut down, according to zoo keepers. It was determined that Dempsey’s quality of life would be so poor he was euthanized.

Because the family structure is so important to the gibbons, the family was given time to sit with Dempsey to mourn his loss.

Dempsey with Neta. (Courtesy Photo/Rob Chase)

The Sunset Zoo invites people to share pictures or memories of Dempsey on social media. The zoo said guests can still visit Leslie, Tucker and Neta in the lower tier of the Asian Forest Trail, where they remain on exhibit year-round.

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