This French monkey is well known by keepers for his sweet tooth and his eagerness to meet the ladies!
Pedro has joined the five females on Spider Monkey Island in the Savannah Lake, with the hope that he will put his romantic genes to the test and become a successful breeding male. Keeper Sasha Brook said “Pedro was brought onto the island after his stay in quarantine and after only a few hours of settling in showed promising signs of mating.”
Black-handed Spider Monkeys have a gestation period of only seven and a half months which means we could be seeing offspring as early as December this year! Taronga Western Plains Zoo is very excited with the prospect of a birth as it has been 15 years since the last baby spider monkey was born at the zoo. “We will keep an eye on the female spider monkeys’ behaviour and we will also collect faecal samples and test them to confirm whether Pedro has been successful,” said Sasha.
When viewing the spider monkeys from the Savannah Visitor Plaza, it is easy to pick Pedro out from the crowd. Pedro is a different sub-species of the spider monkey family; he has the classic colouration and is blonde with distinct black hands, as opposed to the females on the island which have much darker fur.
Pedro is for now the only male on the island with keeper Sasha saying the only other males that would be introduced would be his offspring. “We can have other juvenile male spider monkeys on the island but as they grow up they will need to be moved to another zoo so they can start breeding with another group and not encroach onto Pedro’s territory,” said Sasha.
Visitors can pay Pedro and the other females on the island a visit for free at the Savannah Visitors Plaza open daily from 9am.