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A black-handed spider monkey on a branch

Finn and Marceline, our two confiscated black-handed spider monkey infants, have begun exploring our habitats!

You may spot two little black-handed spider monkey infants exploring our sky tunnels and habitats in our Rainforest Revealed loop! 

In January, we shared that our Zoo would be a potentially temporary home for two spider monkey infants. Our animal care team has started the careful process of introducing the duo, 8-month-old Finn and 5-month-old Marceline, to the rest of our spider monkey troop.  

Finn and Marceline were illegally brought into our state and found in the illegal possession of someone who didn’t have the necessary permits to own this species, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Their origins and their parents’ location are unknown. 

Our Zoo was asked to care for them because of our flexible three-habitat spider monkey complex and experience caring for young monkeys separated from their parents. Two members of our current troop, Mateo and J, came to us at a young age as wildlife trafficking victims.    

For the last few months, Finn and Marceline have been living in an area near our spider monkey habitats so they can hear and see the rest of the troop. Recently, we gave them access to nearby tunnels to increase that exposure. Now, they’ve started exploring a nearby habitat.  

There’s been interest between the twosome and some members of our regular troop! Marceline in particular has been seen “chatting” with the troop.  

Finn and Marceline may join another zoo in the future, but the goal for now is to eventually try physically introducing Finn and Marceline to some younger members of the troop, slowly adding the more senior members to the mix. These introductions will be based on the comfort of all the animals. There’s always some risk to introducing animals, but we want to give Finn and Marceline the chance to be a part of a troop.  

As a facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we’ve told the Species Survival Plan (SSP) program these two young monkeys need placement. SSPs ensure healthy, genetically diverse populations of animals in AZA zoos.  Unfortunately, there are a number of confiscated young spider monkey in zoos across the U.S.   

While we don’t know the exact circumstances that brought Finn and Marceline to our state, we want to note that vulnerable wildlife is trafficked every day around the world – including here in Florida – for the illegal pet trade.    

Black-handed spider monkeys do not make good pets, but there are some important things to consider before choosing any animal for a pet. Be sure to understand where the pet came from and never take an animal from its natural home. If you don’t know where the pet came from, find another source to ensure we work together to stop the illegal pet trade of the animals we all love. 

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.