Dublin Zoo welcomes two new Venezuelan red howler monkeys

Eoghan Moloney

Dublin Zoo has welcomed two Venezuelan red howler monkeys, the newest species to arrive at its South American House.

The five-year-old male red howler monkeys arrived from Tierpark, Berlin, and are settling into their new habitat very well, Dublin Zoo has said.

They get the name ‘howler monkey’ from their roaring and howling calls, which can be heard up to 5km away. They are the loudest of all monkey species and use their calls to warn other howler monkeys to stay away from their territory.

They have a unique black coloured face, a thick red coat and a long prehensile tail which can grab objects and acts as a fifth hand to help them grip onto branches when climbing through trees.

Venezuelan red howler monkeys are new world monkeys, which are native to Mexico, Central and South America. The Venezuelans howler monkeys specifically live in the rainforests of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.

Venezuelan red howler monkeys live in a group called a troop and spend most of their time high up in trees. They are mainly leaf-eaters and have developed special teeth that help them to chew tough leaves. The species is only seen at eight other European zoos.

Eddie O’Brien, team leader at Dublin Zoo said they were “really pleased” to welcome the “incredibly interesting” species to the South American House at Dublin Zoo.