Any ideas? Call for public to name Fota Wildlife Park’s new baby spider monkey

The endangered spider monkey baby who was born at Cork’s Fota Wildlife Park recently.

Norma and father Pinky were part of a European endangered breeding program (EEP) and the park is asking the public to help the baby’s name.

The new baby spider monkey was born on the 4th of March 2022, however, it’s not yet known.

Mother Norma is eleven years old and she arrived at Fota Wildlife Park in 2015 from Le Bioparc de Doué-la-Fontaine in France, while 10-year-old father Pinky was born at the park.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the Columbian black Spider monkey as critically endangered due to hunting, habitat destruction and a long birth cycle. Females only give birth every two or three years.

Lead Ranger at Fota Teresa Power said: “We are delighted to announce the birth of any critically endangered animal. It helps to raise awareness of species loss in the wild and the conservation work here at Fota. European wildlife parks and zoos run cooperative breeding programs as a demographic and genetic backup to wild populations.

“Guadalupe, born in 2017 and Blinky, born in 2020. The new baby has been nibbling at fruit and veg and Spider monkey enclosure has become more active around the recent upgrades. ”

The spider monkeys have recently moved into their new purpose-built house and upgraded outdoor habitat, which features an extended island and a new water moat and waterfall.

The Columbian black spider monkey is a sub-species and is native to Columbia and Panama and has a black body, long limbs and an extremely flexible tail for gripping that, like a human fingerprint, is unique to each animal.

The Black Spider Monkey is the largest New World monkey and found in humid forests up to 2,500 meters above sea level.

It is also an arboreal species, spending its time up high in the canopy. It mainly eats a protein and has a pot-bellied appearance because of its large stomach.

Fota Wildlife Park, part of the Zoological Society of Ireland, is located on 100 acres at Fota Island, 10km east of Cork City. Fota Wildlife Park is a conservation charity and has an annual attendance of over 475,000 visitors, making it one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions.

Fota said name suggestions can be submitted online here. Entries will also win a Conservation Annual Pass,

The new spider monkey baby will need to pre-book their ticket in advance.

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