Infant squirrel monkeys are born at Bristol Zoo Gardens

​We have welcomed the arrival of two infant common squirrel monkeys -- bringing our troop of tree-dwelling monkeys to 14.

Ruby delivered her offspring in mid-September and Lilith, just two weeks ago. Both mothers are caring for their infants full-time. 

The sex of the infants won’t be known for a while, however keepers have already given them the names of Grogu and Naboo. 

Grogu and Naboo share the same father -- one of the zoo’s newest arrivals, Gorse. 

Both mothers and infants can often be seen together on one of the monkey islands here at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

They are the first to have been born within the group this year and keepers say they’re hopeful for some further new arrivals over the coming weeks.

Megan Retallick, a mammal keeper, said: “It’s great to see both mums and infants thriving following successful births. The rest of our troop are very interested in the infants and often watch both Ruby and Lilith as they tend to their infants’ needs. 

“Having 14 common squirrel monkeys here at the Zoo keeps us very busy. They’re typically a very intelligent species who enjoy jumping around in the trees on their island, so they certainly keep us on our toes when it comes to feeding them and cleaning their exhibit. Counting them is often our biggest challenge but we have successfully trained them with re-call to get them to come back inside their house.”

In the wild, common squirrel monkeys live in the forest and tropical jungles of Central and South America. 

They are active during the day, spending most of their time in the middle level of the forest, moving from tree to tree looking for the fruits, flowers and insects that make up their diet. 

They are excellent climbers and leapers and can travel long distances through the forest running along and leaping between branches. Only occasionally do they come down to the ground. 

Common squirrel monkeys carefully smear food on their tails using their hands -- an important characteristic which helps to identify close friends and family in the tangle of the forest.

Now’s your last chance to visit before the Zoo’s last day 03.09.22

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Now’s your last chance to visit before the Zoo’s last day 03.09.22