Baby Monkeys who want to keep up with their older siblings must learn to let go – literally! Leaping from branch to branch like a daredevil is an essential primate skill. A Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey born on October 20 at Switzerland’s Zoo Basel is practicing the basics, but still takes refuge in the arms of mother Juanita.
The baby, whose gender is not yet known, cautiously practices walking on branches, but still prefers to hold on tight. It will be many months before the baby is confident enough to play a game of chase with the other youngsters in the troop.
Geoffroy’s Spider Monkeys live in rain forests and mangrove swamps from southern Mexico to Panama. With long arms, they swing effortlessly among the branches, using their prehensile tails as extra “hands.” In fact, Spider Monkeys often hang from their tails while eating leaves and fruits gathered in the forest.
Geoffroy’s Spider Monkeys are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Habitat loss due to human activity is the primary cause of the shrinking population. Spider Monkeys are also illegally captured for the pet trade.
See more photos of the baby Spider Monkey below the fold.