Delightful squirrel monkey babies are super cute at Newquay Zoo
Published: 26th Sep 2012The collection of primates at Newquay Zoo is one of the reasons why visitors come to the Zoo again and again. Whether you like the playful and mischievous macaques, or the regal Diana…
The collection of primates at Newquay Zoo is one of the reasons why visitors come to the Zoo again and again. Whether you like the playful and mischievous macaques, or the regal Diana monkeys, there are loads of different primate species that will entertain you with their aerobic antics.
Now monkey mad visitors will have another excuse to come to the Zoo, as the cheeky squirrel monkey has family expanded.
This is the first time that the Zoo has bred squirrel monkeys. It was in February this year that the Zoo’s bachelor group of monkeys was moved to Paignton Zoo in Devon, and a family group of eight females and four males were brought to Newquay from Apenhaul Zoo in Holland. And it seems like all the Cornish sea air has been doing them good!
Primate keeper Nicole Howarth said; ‘‘These babies are just so cute! It is lovely to see them getting stronger every day and interacting with their family groups. They spend most of their time on their mums back, gripping onto her fur as she leaps and springs through the trees. The mums certainly don’t slow down at all because they have a baby on their back!’’
There are currently two babies, but one of female squirrel monkeys is expecting and is due any day. If you look very closely you can even see the baby monkey moving inside her pregnant stomach. The babies have yet to be sexed - to avoid disturbing them this is something that will be done when they are microchipped in a few weeks time.
Squirrel monkeys are native to tropical forests in South America and are still relatively common in the wild. Their native habitat is under threat, and like many animals whose homes are in forests, they are disappearing alongside the trees they live in. If their habitat continues to disappear at the current rate, it won’t be long before squirrel monkeys, alongside lots of other species become more at risk from extinction. That is why it is vital that good zoos worldwide like Newquay breed the species in managed collections.