The capuchin monkey injured while protecting its offspring recently, has died according to Wright Park Zoo staff.

In a news release it was announced Vern had died on Oct. 29, when he was found unresponsive by staff in the early morning.

The zoo’s contracted veterinarian did everything they could to revive him.

At this time the cause of death is unknown however a necropsy will be done to try and determine the cause.

According to city staff, Vern came to Wright Park Zoo in 1988 with a female, Charro, when they were both one year olds.

The couple produced four offspring including their two youngest sons, Jack and Pickett, who are part of the current capuchin troop at the Zoo.

In September, the Dodge City Police Department began investigating an incident when Vern was found with minor injuries on the same morning it was reported that Pickett was located outside city limits in Dodge City.

The investigation conducted by DCPD suspected that someone gained access to the enclosure and injured the older monkey as he tried to protect his offspring from being taken.

According to city staff, capuchin monkeys are native to South America and live mostly in trees, only coming to the ground occasionally for food and water.

In the wild, their populations are declining as they face threats of deforestation, habitat loss, and capture for the pet trade.

More information will be released at a later date.

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