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Six sweet little squirrel monkeys born at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo

Kelsey Hogan, April 4, 2022 6:30PM Kids News

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Critically endangered, squirrel monkey numbers have jumped by six thanks to the growing brood at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. Picture: Toby Zerna media_cameraCritically endangered, squirrel monkey numbers have jumped by six thanks to the growing brood at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. Picture: Toby Zerna

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Monkey mania has descended on Taronga Zoo with the addition of six new squirrel monkeys to its growing brood*.

Six Bolivian* squirrel monkey mums have given birth to six babies, all born in close succession* over the past fortnight, the youngest arriving on March 31.

Squirrel Monkey Babies media_cameraHold on tight, little one: Taronga Zoo has welcomed six baby squirrel monkeys, bringing the zoo’s current population of the primate species to 24. Picture: Toby Zerna

The zoo’s primate keeper, Scott Brown, said all six babies were doing well and, as expected, were clinging to their mothers’ backs perfectly.

“We are so delighted to welcome these six tiny but adorable arrivals to our troop,” Mr Brown said.

“Over the next week or so, the babies will be sticking to their mums like tiny little backpacks which makes for quite a sight as their mums jump around their exhibit*.

“For the moment, guests can see the babies with their mums, but over the next couple of weeks the babies will be ready to explore around their exhibit, and when they do, they will have their seven brothers and sisters who were born just last year to show them the ropes.”

Squirrel Monkey Babies media_cameraTaronga Zoo welcome the birth of six baby squirrel monkeys bringing their collection of the primate species to 24. Picture: Toby Zerna

The new additions bring Taronga Zoo’s squirrel monkey population to 24.

In the wild, the critically endangered* species usually live in groups from 50 to 100. Spider monkeys are extremely social animals, with multiple females and their offspring all living together.

Males usually live on the edges, guarding territory and coming together for breeding*.

GLOSSARY

  • brood: offspring, the collected young of an animal, family
  • Bolivia: a republic in western South America
  • succession: when a number of persons or things follow each other in sequence
  • exhibit: section of habitat visible to visitors
  • critically endangered: a species facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild
  • breeding: the process of producing offspring, reproducing

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. How many new squirrel monkeys are there?
  2. What part of their mothers’ bodies do the baby monkeys cling to?
  3. What is Taronga Zoo’s squirrel monkey population including the new additions?
  4. This critically endangered species usually lives in groups of how many in the wild?
  5. What are three typical behaviours for the male of the species?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Naming day
Nominate six names for the six new squirrel monkeys born at Taronga Zoo. Your names should have relevance to some information presented in the Kids News article. Write the names and meaning for the name below.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
Create a family tree of the squirrel monkeys born at Taronga Zoo, showing the new total of 24 monkeys.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English

VCOP ACTIVITY
What happens next?
Imagine this story becomes part of an animated series made up of three cartoons. The three cartoons tell the complete story and this article is only Part 1. Think about what the rest of the story could be and draw the next two cartoons that tell the story.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Visual Arts; Visual Communication Design; Critical and Creative Thinking

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