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MELBOURNE, Fla., April 19, 2022 — Brevard Zoo’s troop of black-handed spider monkeys has grown! In the early morning of Friday, April 15, 31-year-old spider monkey Shelley gave birth to an offspring.

The sex of the baby is not yet known. Animal care staff note that the youngling is doing well, holding on strong to mom and nursing successfully.

BrevardZoo_Baby Spider Monkey 3

BrevardZoo_Baby Spider Monkey 2
BrevardZoo_Baby Spider Monkey 2
BrevardZoo_Baby Spider Monkey 2

The young monkey was born to mom Shelley and dad Shooter, who is 25 years old. Shelley is also the mother to current troop members 19-year-old Tica, seven-year-old Prim and two-year-old Olive. Tica is expecting her own baby in the near future.

“Shelley is a pro at caring for her offspring,” said Lauren Hinson, the Zoo’s Director of Animal Programs.

Animal care staff have observed other members of Shelley’s troop showing lots of interest in the newest member and occasionally checking on both Shelley and baby.

Both Shelley and her newborn are on habitat in Rainforest Revealed, meaning eagle-eyed guests may be able to spot them in one of the Zoo’s connected spider monkey habitats.

Native to Central and South America, black-handed spider monkeys are classified as vulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss as well as the illegal pet trade.