Our black-handed spider monkey troop just got a little bigger! Thirty-one-year-old female Rochelle (aka “Shelley”) gave birth to a baby early in the morning on Friday, April 15.
While we do not yet know the sex of the baby yet, our animal care staff noted that the youngling is doing well, holding on strong to mom and nursing successfully. The baby is also the offspring of 25-year-old male Shooter, who has fathered several other members of our current troop: Olive, Prim, Daisy and Blue Steel.
Shelley has some experience in motherhood as well, having given birth to current troop members 19-year-old Tica, seven-year-old Prim and two-year-old Olive. Her offspring Tica is expecting her own baby soon!
“Shelley is a pro at caring for her offspring,” said Lauren Hinson, the Zoo’s Director of Animal Programs.
Animal care staff have observed other members of Shelley’s troop showing lots of interest in the newest member and occasionally checking on both Shelley and baby.
Both Shelley and her newborn are on habitat in Rainforest Revealed, which means you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled to see if you can spot them in one of the spider monkeys’ three connected living spaces on your next visit!
Every Zoo birth is a safeguard against losing these precious species in their natural range. Native to Central and South America, black-handed spider monkeys are classified as vulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss as well as the illegal pet trade. To help put a stop to the illegal pet trade, check out the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance’s tips for consumers and Legislative Action Center.
Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.