Spider Monkey

Infant Spider Monkeys Rescued From The Illegal Pet Trade

Primates come from illegal pet trade, support conservation mission

 SANFORD, Fla. (September 5, 2022) — While baby spider monkeys might look so cute you just want to hold one, having a spider monkey as a pet is anything but innocent.

The cruel truth is that in order for wildlife traffickers to obtain infant spider monkeys to sell into the pet trade, they have to kill the entire troop. That’s exactly what officials believe happened to the three new spider monkeys who have been placed with the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Now, the three primates will serve as a beacon of hope for animal conservation in more ways than one.

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Baby Spider Monkey Born At Brevard Zoo

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.

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First Mexican Spider Monkey Birth at Nashville Zoo

[April 18, 2022] - Nashville Zoo is excited to announce the first successful Mexican spider monkey birth at the Zoo. The monkey was born on April 9 to Molly (mom) and Sandy (dad) bringing the total number of spider monkeys in the Zoo's care to five. The baby and mom are healthy and made their exhibit debut last Thursday.

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"Molly has been a great mom so far. She is calm, nurturing and gives the baby plenty of time to nurse," said Nashville Zoo's Primate Supervisor Brittany Canfield. "Each member occasionally gets to groom the baby too."

MORE PHOTOS BELOW THE FOLD!

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Rare Spider Monkey Born At Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is celebrating the birth of a threatened spider monkey.

The rare baby primate, a Colombian black-headed spider monkey, has been spotted being cradled in the arms of experienced mum, Kiara (11).

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Colombian black-headed spider monkeys are considered vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are at risk of extinction, with more than a quarter of its population estimated to have been lost in just the last half a century.

The South American primates are found mainly in Colombia and Panama where they are being increasingly threatened by hunting, illegal trafficking and the destruction of their tropical rainforest habitat.

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Extraordinary Video of Birth of Endangered Spider Monkey

Dudley Zoo and Castle is thrilled to announce the birth of a critically endangered Colombian black spider monkey, which was captured on camera by one of its delighted primate keepers.
 
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Twenty year-old Valentine gave birth to the tiny baby on January 10, just as Senior Keeper, Harley Hunt arrived at their indoor den.
 
Senior Keeper Harley Hunt said: “As soon as I realised Valentine was giving birth and the baby was very imminent, I grabbed my phone and hid by the window, filming through the glass while trying to watch what was unfolding at the same time.

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Seeing double! Second Spider Monkey baby born at Dubbo Zoo

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is delighted to announce the arrival of another Spider Monkey baby, born on 5 October 2020.

The female baby is yet to be named and was born to mother, Margarita and father, Pedro and is the second offspring for the pair.

“Margarita is an experienced mother and is taking to the role like an old hand. She is doing a good job caring for her newborn,” said Primate Keeper Rachel Schildkraut.

“The other juveniles in the group have shown a little bit of interest in the new arrival, coming over to have a closer look,” said Rachel.

This is the second Spider Monkey baby born to the group in the past two months, with the first arriving in late August 2020.

“The first baby is developing well and whilst he is still attached to mum, he is starting to occasionally reach out for things nearby and spends a lot of time looking around.”

Spider Monkey babies cling to their mothers with an amazing grip and suckle as needed for the first few months of their lives. After approximately three to four months the babies become more active and move to riding on their mother’s back and start exploring a little more.

“Our first baby can occasionally be observed dorsal riding, or riding on his mother’s back, but he is still a little uncoordinated.”

“The best vantage spot to view the Spider Monkey babies is from the deck at the Zoo Café,” said Rachel.

The Black-handed Spider Monkey conservation breeding program at Taronga Western Plains Zoo has now welcomed four females and three males since the arrival of Pedro the breeding male from France in 2014.

Black-handed Spider Monkeys are found in Mexico and throughout Central America and are classified as Endangered with habitat loss the primary cause of their decline.


Spider Monkey baby born at Dubbo Zoo

Baby on 14th Sept by Keeper Sasha Brook

Spring has sprung early at Taronga Western Plains Zoo with the birth of a male Spider Monkey baby on 24 August 2020.

The baby boy was born overnight with keepers arriving at work to see mother Jai doting over her newborn. This is the second baby for Jai and father Pedro, with their first baby Isadore born in October 2017.

 

“Jai was a natural mother first time around and is clearly still a calm mother taking caring for her second baby in her stride,” said Primate Keeper Sasha Brook.

“We are really happy with the maternal behaviours Jai is displaying and because we have a good rapport with her we are able to get up close to check on the baby and how it is doing and we are very pleased to see him doing well,” said Sasha.

Spider Monkey babies cling on to their mothers with an amazing grip and suckle as needed for the first few months of their lives. After approximately three to four months the babies become more active and move to dorsal riding on the back of their mother and start exploring a little more.

“Visitors to the Zoo may find it difficult to see the new arrival at present as he is clinging to his mum’s tummy however, when they move to dorsal riding they are easier to see.”

“There are now six youngsters on the Spider Monkey island including the most recent baby born into the group and we are hopeful there is another baby on the way,” said Sasha.

“It is really amazing to see the different ages in the group now and the watch the juveniles interact with the adults. Pedro is particularly good with the youngsters and is often observed playing with them.”

The Black-handed Spider Monkey conservation breeding program at Taronga Western Plains Zoo has now welcomed four females and two males since the arrival of Pedro the breeding male from France in 2014.

“Having another male born into the group is really exciting, it widens the genetic diversity in the group which benefits the regional conservation breeding program.”

“One day once he is mature he may move to another Zoo and sire babies of his own,” said Sasha.

Black-handed Spider Monkeys are found in Mexico and throughout Central America and are classified as Endangered with habitat loss the primary cause of their decline.


Endangered Spider Monkey Born in Australia

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Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo were delighted by the early morning arrival of an endangered Black-handed Spider Monkey baby on October 26 to first time mother, Martina.

The male infant is yet to be named, but both mother and baby are doing well so far.

“Martina is a natural mother, she is showing all the right maternal behaviors. She has had the advantage of watching our two other mothers raise their babies over the past year,” said Keeper Stephanie Sims.

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_AT_051420151016Photo Credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

“At present visitors need to have a keen eye or binoculars to spot the newest addition, as the baby is clinging closely to mum’s stomach and looks like a little brown bulge from the viewing area.”

The baby will cling to his mother’s belly for the next few months, and has only in the last week started to hold his head up and look around. During his first year he will slowly gain confidence and start feeding himself, spending small periods of time away from Martina and hanging out with other members of the group. The baby will still rely on his mother though, as Spider Monkey babies are not considered completely independent until approximately three years of age.

“At present father Pedro doesn’t play a hands-on role raising the baby. However, as he gets older, Pedro will spend time wrestling and playing with him which also teaches specific social skills,” said Stephanie.

The two Spider Monkey babies born late last year were at first very curious about the new arrival, getting up close to take a look at the baby. The curiosity has worn off for the time being though.

“As the baby gets older and starts wanting to play with the older two, they will show more interest in him again.”

The Black-handed Spider Monkey regional conservation breeding program has a shortage of breeding males and while every birth is important, having a new genetic bloodline for the program is significant.

“We are really excited that the newest arrival is a male. The two babies from late last year were both females so to have a male this time is really great news,” said Stephanie.

Native to Central America and extreme northern South America, Black-handed Spider Monkeys are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The primary threat is loss of habitat. Large forested areas are essential to their survival, and these tracts are becoming rare in the region. Because they reproduce only once every two to four years, Black-handed Spider Monkey populations cannot quickly rebound when affected by human-caused disturbances.

 


‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’ in the Taronga Troop

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Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Black-handed Spider Monkey babies are growing and developing rapidly. Born in October and December 2017, the two females have started to explore their island home away from their mothers. Isadora, the eldest of the two youngsters, is already becoming quite an influence on her younger half-sister. The younger female, Ariana is quite curious of Isadora, and often follows and copies her to pick-up items or practice climbing skills. As the old saying goes: “monkey see, monkey do”!

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4_1RIC202620151016Photo Credits: Rick Stevens

Sasha Brook, Keeper, said, “The two babies have started playing with each other only very recently, and it is one of the cutest things I’ve seen in all my years as a keeper!”

Both the mothers, particularly Jai, are very relaxed and allow the keepers to interact with their babies. The babies love to climb and chew on the keeper’s hands and are now at an age where their confidence is rapidly increasing.

“Both babies are eating a fair amount of solid food now, but are still quite reliant on the nutrition of their mothers’ milk,” said Sasha.

The babies will be fully weaned and completely independent by the age of two, but will still stay close to their mothers until they are approximately four years old.

“They can still be seen riding on their mothers back, and when they run amok their mums will chase after them and scoop them up. The two often copy their mothers, and other members of the troop, by picking up and mouthing carrots and other fruits and vegetables provided,” Sasha shared.

The Black-handed Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), also known as Geoffroy's Spider Monkey is a species of spider monkey native to Central America, parts of Mexico, and possibly a small portion of Colombia. As a result of habitat loss, hunting and the pet trade, the species is classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN.

Their body color varies by subspecies and population: buff, reddish, rust, brown or black. Hands and feet are dark or black, and the face usually has a pale mask and bare skin around the eyes and muzzle.

Unlike most primates whose males leave to find other troops for breeding, female Black-handed Spider Monkeys are generally the ones to seek a new troop upon becoming sexually mature. These females may eventually go to another zoo in the future, but for now they will continue to grow and develop under the watchful eye of their mothers and keepers.

A great time to see the Black-handed Spider Monkeys is at 12:50pm when keepers provide them with their lunch. Visitors to the zoo can also grab their own lunch or a coffee and watch the Spider Monkey antics any time during the day.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo had not bred Black-handed Spider Monkeys for 16 years, until the arrival of Isadora last year, followed by Ariana soon after.

For more information about the facility, visit www.zoofari.com.au .

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