A monkey is a playful and friendly animal that enjoys mocking humans. Since people rarely pet them, they primarily exist in jungles and forests. Compared with animals like dogs, cats, fish, and birds, their rate of tickling is relatively low.

Because of the parasites and zoonotic diseases that monkeys can spread, humans are at risk. They might seem in perfect health, but when they inevitably bite or scratch someone, they could get one of your monkey’s disorders lying dormant in its body.

Because of their propensity for mischief, they may harm items in your home. Those who care for these essential animals create unique living and playing spaces for them. Monkeys have different names in different languages. The name of this monkey in Spanish is Mona, and in French, it is Signe.

Sometimes they seem in a different mood because apes are smiling monkeys and crying monkeys the next moment. Like other animals, monkeys also have some health issues and a rare disease that has taken place in monkeys with Down syndrome. In this write-up, we will talk about monkeys with Down syndrome.

monkey down syndrome

A little introduction to monkeys with Down Syndrome

In the realm of animal studies, Kanako stands out as a remarkable individual. This 24-year-old female chimpanzee, residing at the Kumamoto Sanctuary in Japan, has garnered scientific attention due to her unique genetic condition: Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21. Her case represents only the second documented instance of this chromosomal disorder in chimpanzees, offering valuable insights into the evolutionary and developmental implications of Down syndrome across species.

They are gorgeous, naughty, and occasionally enigmatic creatures called monkeys! According to their habitat, they have a variety of distinct adaptations. Most of them were inhabitants of the trees. Others are more terrestrial, such as macaques, baboons, and some mangabeys.

All monkeys have hands and feet for grasping branches, but some arboreal monkeys also have tails they can use. Pliable seats can capture and hold objects. It wrinkled these unique tails on the bottom and was highly flexible, allowing them to pick up things as small as peanuts and tree branches. Various monkey species are shown, such as the fat, unsightly, fair-skinned, white, and black monkey.

As mentioned, these particular animals also have health problems, and Down syndrome is one of them. Surprisingly, only two cases of monkey Down syndrome are on record now. We will discuss both of them in the following few passages.

Ape, Monkey, Primate, Animal, Mammal

Indications of the Monkey with Down Syndrome

The ape involved in the case had hypodontia, congenital heart disease, infantile cataracts, vision issues, and limited growth. These signs and symptoms are all frequent among people with Down syndrome.

According to behavioral assessments of the affected chimpanzees, delay in the development of trying to sit and going to stand positions in these chimpanzees with trisomy 22.

The Number of Monkeys with Down Syndrome

Only two cases of monkeys with Down syndrome have come to light. Wisconsin-based researchers initially identified a monkey with Down syndrome. The inherited defect was clear in the monkey’s behavior, and chromosome testing supported it. Chimpanzees and gorillas have already identified with Down-like syndrome, but a monkey never has. The monkey’s illness resembles that of infected humans, both behaviorally and genetically. Details are as follows;

1. Female Azalea Down Syndrome in Chimpanzees

A female monkey, “Azalea,” was born on June 29, 1988, to a mother who was 21 years old—quite old for this species. Moreover, at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center, Frans de Waal, an authority on primate behavior, claims that “it took us several days to recognize that she wasn’t fully normal.” Moreover, she learns considerably more slowly and is less social than the others, despite being in good health and other monkeys like it.

Down syndrome, caused by the presence of an extra chromosome, is a genetic condition that affects both humans and chimpanzees, our closest living relatives. In humans, trisomy 21 is associated with a range of physical and cognitive impairments, including intellectual disability, craniofacial abnormalities, and an increased risk of certain medical conditions.

2. Female Chimp named Kanako Η σπαρακτική ιστορία του χιμπατζή με το "Σύνδρομο Down" .

Japanese researchers identified a 24-year-old female chimp named Kanako as having Down syndrome. The Kumamoto Sanctuary chimpanzee was born in a cage and later gained several unusual traits that made her stand out from other chimpanzees. She had crossed eyes, for instance, and cataracts by the time she was a year old.

At seven, she went blind. She also suffered some cardiac irregularities, which did not develop in her teeth. Through recent tests, Kanako was later diagnosed with trisomy 22 or having a third copy of chromosome 22.

Kanako’s life has been marked by both challenges and remarkable resilience. Born in captivity, she exhibited physical traits that distinguished her from other chimpanzees. These included crossed eyes, cataracts, heart abnormalities, and underdeveloped teeth. These characteristics raised suspicions among her caretakers, leading to further investigations that ultimately revealed the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 22, confirming the diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Kanako’s Unique Presentation

Interestingly, Kanako’s presentation of Down syndrome differs from the typical human manifestation. While she exhibits some physical characteristics seen in human patients, such as crossed eyes and cataracts, she appears to have milder cognitive impairments. Her caretakers have observed no significant signs of intellectual disability, suggesting that the effects of Down syndrome may vary across species.

Implications for Research

Kanako’s case offers a unique opportunity to study Down syndrome in a non-human primate model. By comparing her genetic profile and developmental trajectory to those of humans with Down syndrome, researchers can gain valuable insights into the evolutionary origins and genetic underpinnings of this condition.

The Road Ahead

As Kanako continues her journey, researchers remain committed to understanding the nuances of Down syndrome in chimpanzees. Her case highlights the importance of comparative studies in elucidating the complex interplay between genetics and development. Kanako’s story serves as a testament to the remarkable diversity of life and the potential for scientific discovery through careful observation and collaboration.

Down Syndrome Animals

Most people ask, “Can animals have Down syndrome?“. Yes, animals with Down syndrome exist worldwide, like Down syndrome monkeys. When we talk about the monkeys with Down syndrome, only a few apes with Down syndrome have been recorded until now. At the same time, the list of Down syndrome animals includes tigers, kittens, koalas, beluga whales, etc.

Gorilla with Down Syndrome

Only one  gorilla Down syndrome is seen to the day, and the name of this animal is Kanako. It has also developed some abnormal characteristics, which makes it quite different from other primates.

She had crossed eyes, for instance, and was diagnosed with cataracts at once. They carry chromosome 22 in a third extra copy. In 1969, the first instance of a chimpanzee with Down syndrome with trisomy 22 was officially recorded.

Down Syndrome Tiger

Kenny was born on a tiger farm in Bentonville, Arkansas, and was transferred there by the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in 2000. The first two years of Kenny’s life were spent there when he reportedly lived in filth and was almost fatally injured as a newborn.

Only two of the cubs in Kenny’s litter survived. The other, his brother Willie, was badly cross-eyed and orange at birth. The remaining cubs either perished at birth or were stillborn. The couple’s parents were siblings.


The conclusion we get after reading this article is that a monkey is a naughty and playful animal. But people do not pet them because of the germs they carry in their bodies and the space they need to play and live. Fortunately, only two monkeys with Down syndrome have taken place worldwide.


People usually ask many questions about this specific disease in monkeys. We provide a few questions and their answers below.

1. How many chromosomes does a monkey have?

A monkey has 48 chromosomes, while an average human has 46 chromosomes.

2. Is trisomy 22 Down syndrome?

A chromosome problem known as trisomy 22 occurs when there are three copies of chromosome 22 instead of two. The first three months of pregnancy frequently lead to spontaneous abortions. Second-trimester progression and live births are uncommon.

3. Can a monkey have Down syndrome?

When an ape has a third copy of chromosome 22, it can develop trisomy 22, a disorder similar to Down syndrome in chimpanzees, down syndrome gorillas, and orangutans. In 1969, the first instance of a chimpanzee with trisomy 22 was recorded.

4. Is there an albino monkey with down syndrome?

To our knowledge, there are no documented cases of a monkey with albinism and Down syndrome. Albinism is a genetic condition that affects melanin production, resulting in a lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin, and eyes. On the other hand, Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that affects physical and intellectual development.

Hello! I'm Gian Wylde, and I'm currently posting articles for you. I have life experience in giving monkey what they need and what is good for them.