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A mother spider monkey holding their offspring.

Tika has shown great maternal instincts with her offspring.

We have some exciting news to tail you! Tika the black-handed spider monkey has given birth, and both Mom and baby are doing great. This was Tika’s eighth birth, and she has been showing off her refined super-mom skills.  

Our spider monkeys often give birth overnight, and their keepers discover the new addition the next morning. However, this time, Tika’s water broke midday on April 17, so her care team was able to be nearby and excitedly observe the birth.  

Two of Tika’s other daughters, Blue Steel and Sarah, immediately took an interest in their youngest sibling. Mom has allowed them to watch and investigate the baby. Other troop members have showed interest as well, but Tika is good about setting her boundaries with everyone, and the others respect it.  

Mateo has been spending some time sitting snuggled up next to Tika and checking the baby out,” said Assistant Curator of Animals, Sidnee Santana-Mellor.  

For the next few months, the baby’s day-to-day life will look very similar to a newborn human baby: sleeping and eating. They will also cling tightly onto Mom, never leaving her side.  

“Once the baby gains some confidence and coordination, they will climb off Mom for short periods of time. They will begin building new relationships with the other monkeys in the troop and continue hitching rides from Tika until about a year old.” said Sidnee.   

With such a tight grip on Mom, it will be a while before we do any hands-on exams or find out the sex. They both will continue to bond in a comfortable environment, free from unnecessary interruptions.  

At this stage, it can be hard to catch a glimpse of this mother-baby duo in their Rainforest Revealed habitat. Your best chance of spotting the newest Zoo baby will be during morning hours. We will continue updating you on how this pair is doing!

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.