Surprise as baby spider monkey arrives unexpectedly at Chester Zoo in Britain

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-15 04:46:28|Editor: yan
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LONDON, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- A tiny spider monkey has arrived at England's Chester Zoo, surprising zookeepers.

They revealed Saturday how they spotted the newborn spider Monday clinging tightly to its mum.

The Colombian black-headed spider monkey was born to 29-year-old mom Christine and 28-year-old dad Popoyan.

At just a few days old, the baby is yet to be named as keepers do not yet know its gender.

"Christine's new arrival has given cause for great celebration, said a spokesman at the zoo.

The rare South American primates, found mainly in Colombia and Panama, are listed as critically endangered on the International Union of the Conservation of Nature's red list of endangered species.

They have been pushed to the edge of extinction by deforestation and hunting for their meat, with 80 percent of their population estimated to have been lost in the last 45 years.

Dr Nick Davis, the zoo's deputy curator of mammals, said: "Mom Christine is taking great care of her new arrival, spending all of her time cradling and nursing the little one. Spider monkey babies are very dependent on their moms, 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."

Chester Zoo supports spider monkey research in Latin America and is currently expanding its conservation support for the threatened primates.