Posted on 19th November 2020 by Media Relations
Three Bolivian Squirrel Monkey babies, which are yet to be named and sexed due to their age and agile nature were born last week. The first birth took place last Tuesday the 3rd of November, with the other two births occurring over the weekend.
All three babies are reported to be doing extremely well, with the infants suckling and holding tightly to mum.
“This is the first time in four years Taronga Zoo Sydney has welcomed Squirrel Monkey babies, and to have three born at the same time with more due any day now is just so exciting as they will grow, play and start exploring around their exhibit together ” says Senior Primate Keeper Laura Fiddler.
The duration of a squirrel monkey pregnancy is five months, which is a total of 155 days. Squirrel monkeys at a mature age weigh less than 1kg and 60cm long. Although they seem tiny, a Squirrel Monkey baby weighs up to an impressive 60 grams!
Squirrel Monkey’s progress extremely quickly, and in the next month or so Keepers expect to see the babies being carried around by other members of the group, a behaviour known as ‘nannying’. They will also take their ‘first steps’ above the treetops on their own.
Although the Squirrel Monkeys may be hard to glimpse at first, they are officially now out on exhibit. As mum becomes more confident and the little one becomes stronger, guests will have the opportunity of seeing these little ones explore and play in their new surroundings. The Squirrel Monkey exhibit is located next to the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning, with Keepers performing a daily feed at 12 pm.
Squirrel Monkeys are one of the smallest of the primates and are found in the wild in Central and South America where they can live in groups of up to 500.The Bolivian Squirrel Monkey is not threatened, however other species of Squirrel Monkey such as those in Costa Rica and Panama face threats due to deforestation and fragmentation and the illegal pet trade.
Australian travellers whenever they are abroad are encouraged to report illegal wildlife trafficking using the Wildlife Witness app. The app is a free download and enables travellers to report suspicious activity.