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Mini Monkeys are the Latest Arrivals at Chester Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: December 4, 2020 11:40 pm

mini monkeys born at Chester Zoo

The pygmy marmoset twins cling to their parents at Chester Zoo

Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

A pair of mini monkeys have been born at Chester Zoo. The eastern pygmy marmoset is already one of the smallest primates on Earth with the twins measuring just 5cm (2in) long and weighing no more than 10g.

Keeper Holly Webb said, “It’s wonderful to see new additions within the marmoset family and it’s almost unbelievable just how small the babies are when they are first born. They are no bigger than a ping pong ball!”

mini monkeys born at Chester Zoo

The pygmy marmoset twins cling to their parents at Chester Zoo

Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

Mother Zoe, three and father Baldrick, four have taken to parenthood well as keeper, Holly Webb explained, “Mum Zoe and dad Baldrick have jumped straight into parenthood. Zoe is ever so caring and, unlike other primates, dad is heavily involved in the upbringing of the youngsters."

“Baldrick sensed that Zoe was ready to give birth and even put on a little extra weight to give him the energy to care for the twins. He’s really got stuck into the parenting – we spotted him carrying the babies around on his back when they were just one day old.”

mini monkeys born at Chester Zoo

A pygmy marmoset at Chester Zoo

Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

“New babies always strengthen family bonds and some of the younger primates in the group have also been carrying the new arrivals around. It’s great to see them learn and pick up parenting tips from Zoe and Baldrick, and that experience will be important if they one day go on to have young of their own. The fact that younger members of the family are trusted to carry around such delicate new-borns, builds a lot of trust within the group.

“The babies are already very inquisitive and aware of their surroundings. I can’t wait to see them develop their own little personalities.”

Eastern pygmy marmosets are found in South America throughout western Brazil, south-eastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador and eastern Peru. Their population is threatened through habitat loss, hunting and capture for the illegal pet trade.

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Dr Nick Davis, Deputy Curator of Mammals at the zoo, said:

“Many primate species around the world are highly threatened, often due to large-scale habitat destruction, hunting and the illegal wildlife trade. Sadly, this is very much the case for the eastern pygmy marmoset.

“Despite their tiny stature, pygmy marmosets make a lot of loud noises, especially when calling out to attract a mate or warning others of danger. Even though they are the world’s most miniature species of monkey, their whistles and squeals can be heard throughout the rainforest.”

“Unfortunately, as their forest homes continue to disappear, this can be to their detriment, as a lack of cover leaves them even more exposed to illegal hunters and trappers. Thankfully, conservation teams are working hard to restore forest and create safe areas while new arrivals at the zoo help us to further highlight what needs to be done to prevent their extinction.”

mini monkeys born at Chester Zoo

The pygmy marmoset twins cling to their parents at Chester Zoo

Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

Learn more about pygmy marmosets here – Pygmy Marmoset | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Chester Zoo on their website – Chester Zoo

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