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Critically endangered spider monkey born at Colchester Zoo

PUBLISHED: 07:28 09 November 2020 | UPDATED: 07:28 09 November 2020

A female Columbian black spider monkey named Cheekaboo has given birth to a healthy baby at Colchester Zoo. Picture: JAMIE REEVE

A female Columbian black spider monkey named Cheekaboo has given birth to a healthy baby at Colchester Zoo. Picture: JAMIE REEVE

JAMIE REEVE

Colchester Zoo’s female Columbian black spider monkey named Cheekaboo has given birth to a healthy baby.

Colchester Zoo has welcomed a baby spider monkey. Picture: JAMIE REEVEColchester Zoo has welcomed a baby spider monkey. Picture: JAMIE REEVE

The Animal Care Team at the zoo saw Cheekaboo exhibiting early signs of labour on Monday, October 19 and when they checked on her the following morning she had a new born baby clinging tightly to her.

MORE: Colchester Zoo forced to close as country goes into second lockdown

The arrival is fantastic news for the zoo and for this species, which is sadly listed as ‘critically endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

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Cheekaboo also has a four-year-old daughter Chilli, who still lives alongside her and dad Julius.

The newborn is yet to be sexed, but as it grows stronger and bigger the Animal Care Team are preparing to name the youngster.

Colombian black spider monkey babies have pink faces and ears when they are born but it won’t be long before the little one develops dark hair. As a species, they have long thin arms and hook-like hands but no thumbs. Their tail is often longer than their body and they use this as a fifth limb to help them climb and keep their balance.

Colchester Zoo said: “The baby is currently very small and can be tricky to spot as it keeps warm by clutching closely to mum.

“However, it is already heading outside with Cheekaboo so keep an eye out as you pass their enclosure during your visit!”


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