Monkey World, the largest primate rescue operation in the world is delighted to announce the birth of two very rare and beautiful woolly monkeys at the centre. Best known for rescuing monkeys and apes from smuggling, abuse, or neglect around the world, the woolly monkeys at Monkey World are the last of their kind kept in captivity where family groups are thriving and reproducing.
After Storm Eunice hit the UK, the primate care staff arrived at Monkey World ready to face the damage caused by the winds- and instead were greeted by woolly monkey Xingu and her new baby boy, Levi!
The primate care team have been closely monitoring both mum and baby in the past weeks, and both are doing very well. The baby monkey is Xingu’s fifth infant, having successfully raised Xavi, Olivia, Layla and Leroy. Again, she seems to be taking motherhood in her stride, confidently moving around both indoor and outdoor enclosures with Levi clinging tightly to her back, and giving visitors to the centre a unique opportunity to see families of these endangered monkeys in the early days of their lives.
Just two weeks after Xingu became a mum for the fifth time, she also became a grandmother! Daughter Olivia gave birth to her first baby at the start of March. As a first time mum, the keepers kept a close watch on how both were coping, and Olivia is an attentive mother and gaining confidence in her new role every day. The tiny infants weigh approximately 400 grams at birth and are completely reliant on their mums for food, heat, transport, and care.
Woolly monkeys are extremely rare & notoriously difficult to breed in captivity, so the team are pleased both Xingu and Olivia’s youngsters are thriving. These two infants are the 31st and 32nd woolly monkeys born at Monkey World over the years, and the centre is the last surviving place with a healthy, breeding woolly monkey population outside of South America. Woolly monkey numbers are drastically declining in the wild due to deforestation, hunting, and capture of individuals for the illegal pet trade. Monkey World supports in-situ rescue centres by feeding back information and knowledge on good and successful care and husbandry of these endangered monkeys.
Park Director Dr Alison Cronin, who has worked with these rare primates for more than 25 years, is delighted that the mothers are caring for her own young.
She says “Monkey World is now home to 26 woolly monkeys that live in four different groups at the park. Sadly, they do not do well in captivity and have died off in zoos and rescue centres in UK and around the globe. At Monkey World we are working very hard to identify the best way to care for these vulnerable monkeys so that we can help rescue centres insitu in Columbia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru to rehabilitate those individuals that are confiscated from the black market trade.”