Baby squirrel monkey's surprise arrival
A baby squirrel monkey has caused a stir at Auckland Zoo after it was born at the wrong time of year.
Auckland Zoo spokeswoman Grace Honney said mum Ratteplan was among a group of squirrel monkeys that were brought to the zoo from Europe a couple of months ago. The baby was born a couple of weeks ago.
"We got them from Europe and they were in a Northern Hemisphere [breeding] cycle," she said.
"We didn't know she was pregnant - with animals it's hard to tell until they have the baby."
Honney said while the baby was supposed to be born in the warmer months it appeared to be healthy.
"It's feeding well but we're keeping an eye on them, they seem to be doing great," she said.
"We're fairly confident they will be fine because Ratteplan has done it all before."
The family of squirrel monkeys have been removed from display while the new baby is introduced.
Honney said keepers were not sure the of the baby's sex and would not discover it for a while.
"They stay quite close to the mother. When he or she gets older we will be able to do those type of things," she said.
"We're letting them bond."
Members of the public will get a chance to name the new addition with a promotion which runs until the end of the week.
"We're hoping they get names of South American origin because that's where squirrel monkeys are from," she said.
"The primate team will pick the top five which will go to the public vote."
People can submit their suggestions by visiting the Auckland Zoo website.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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