The third baby squirrel monkey to be born at Bristol Zoo Gardens in just over a month has arrived
The tiny baby came into the world as temperatures fell to almost freezing across the city. But mum Kimberly was safe and warm inside the squirrel monkeys’ centrally heated house in the heart of the 180-year old Zoo. Within a short time the tiny baby, which is less than four inches long, was clinging to its mum’s back and being carried through the trees.
But it will be some time before keepers are able to get close enough to check whether the new baby squirrel monkey is a girl or a boy.
Mammals team leader Sarah Gedman said: “This is our third infant born in the past five weeks. Kimberly is a first time mum, and as a result is a little unsure, but having other mums in the group is helping her learn through observation.”
There are now 22 squirrel monkeys at Bristol Zoo, including the new baby’s dad, Boris.
Out of the seven species of squirrel monkeys, one is listed as endangered, one as vulnerable and another two are close to becoming threatened on the IUCN Red List.
In the wild, common squirrel monkeys, the species kept at Bristol Zoo, are found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela. Their populations are declining in parts of their range due to deforestation and forest fragmentation.
In about two months, the new baby will start nibbling vegetables and mealworms and when it is 10 months old, it will become independent and fend for itself.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the Zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.