Wednesday 17 October 2018

This tiny spider monkey born at Chester Zoo is all kinds of cute

Spider monkeys are listed as critically endangered.

Spider monkey.
Spider monkey.

By Nilima Marshall

A tiny newborn spider monkey has been spotted clinging tightly to its mum at Chester Zoo.

The Colombian black-headed spider monkey was born on October 9 to 29-year-old mum Christine and 28-year-old dad Popoyan.

Found mainly in Colombia and Panama, the rare South American primates are listed as critically endangered on the International Union of the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list of endangered species.

They have been pushed to the edge of extinction by deforestation and hunting for their meat.

Around 80% of its population is estimated to have been lost in five decades.

Dr Nick Davis, the zoo’s deputy curator of mammals, said: “Spider monkey babies are very dependent on their mums, being carried almost exclusively for the first six months before they start learning how to climb.

Spider monkeys have an interesting social system – more similar to chimps than other monkeys.

“The group at Chester Zoo are very important in terms of our scientific understanding of the species and many conservationists have spent time studying them here, learning how to record behavioural data, before heading out to their habitat in Latin America to study them in the wild.”

Press Association

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