Little monkey of Britain's Bristol Zoo thinks teddy bear its mom

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-02 20:02:23|Editor: Song Lifang
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LONDON, July 2 (Xinhua) -- A tiny monkey that sleeps cuddled to a teddy bear believing it to be his mom has amazed keepers at Britain's Bristol Zoo.

Tragically, the tiny red titi monkey's mom Bella died after giving birth, but the baby has survived against the odds thanks to round the clock care from keepers since the hour he was born.

For the past four weeks a dedicated team of keepers have fed him day and night to keep him alive, and now the little monkey, named Pichiku, is thriving.

Bristol Zoo is believed to be the second only zoo in the country to have succeeded in hand-rearing a titi monkey to this stage.

Keepers began by carrying him home in an incubator for the first two and a half weeks and feeding him one milligram of formula baby milk every two hours.

Pichiku, which means little monkey in a local Peruvian dialect, one of the native countries to red titi monkeys, is now being fed every three hours and is taking up to 5 milligrams of milk.

He is still only about 12 centimeters long but he is starting to eat baby rice and learning to lap at it for the first time.

Pichiku is being kept in a small enclosure away from the public for the time being where the temperature is maintained between 22 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius.

"He lies on a soft golden teddy bear which he thinks of as his mum," said keeper Emily Lewis, adding: "He has survived against all the odds, he's definitely a fighter, a determined little one."

Pichiku has also started to climb and develop muscles in his arms but it will be two years before he is fully grown. The next step will be re-introducing him to his dad, Junin, who lives in the enclosure next door.

A spokesman at the zoo said: "Red titi monkey dads usually look after their babies after the first two days before returning them to their mums for feeding...Pichiku's dad carried him around after his mum died but would not have been able to keep him alive"

Lewis added: "We are hoping that dad will recognize him and they will get on when we put them together. But we won't know how they will react until we try it."

"For now, they have visual access to each other all day where they can see, hear and smell each other to ensure they are as familiar as possible. They are often heard vocalizing away to each other, with lovely high-pitched chirps."