There’s reason to celebrate at Woburn Safari Park, with the exciting arrival of three new Guianan squirrel monkey babies!
The infants were born last week to mothers Ringo and Tye, both aged 13, and Jammie Dodger aged 12, and takes the total squirrel monkey troop at Woburn up to 28!
All mums and offspring are doing well and displaying all the behaviours that keepers would expect from new arrivals and recent parents.
Whilst the males provide no parental care, the squirrel monkey infants will be dependent on mum for almost everything for the first few weeks.
Louise King, Keeper, explains: "Nursing, comfort and protection will be top on the agenda for these experienced mothers in the coming weeks. They’ll also provide a comfortable place for little ones to sleep whilst they become familiar with the rest of the group and their new surroundings.
“Squirrel monkeys are a really sociable species so as the infants grow and become more independent we expect to see a lot more interaction with the other monkeys. We can’t wait until these newest babies are big enough to join in the fun with the other playful primates!
Louise reported that siblings and other members of the troop have already shown an interest, and were seen approaching mums and babies and looking protective over the tiny new arrivals.
Guianan squirrel monkeys are the smallest of the primate family Cebidae, and are found in tropical rainforests in South America. Although not currently listed as endangered, they face threat from forest destruction and fragmentation, so keepers are delighted that visitors to the Park will have the opportunity to learn more about this species and how they interact as the Woburn troop continues to grow.
The tiny trio won’t be sexed until the youngsters grow and begin independently exploring their new home, but with a recently refurbished enclosure featuring a huge network of ropes, vantage points, platforms, and feeding devices it won’t be long until they are confidently bounding about with their brothers and sisters!
Guests can already spot the youngsters out with their mums from the viewing platforms in the Monkey Mayhem enclosure, particularly during one of the demonstration times.