You’ll need to look closely to spot Lincoln Park Zoo’s new baby monkey.
The infant Goeldi’s monkey, born Oct. 15 to first-time parents, is barely visible as it clings to its mother’s neck.
“They’re really small when they’re born, so until they start getting up and moving around freely, we can’t determine the sex,” said Jill Moyse, the zoo’s curator of primates. “It just started last week moving around and moving its head around. Unless you knew to look, a visitor wouldn’t even know that there’s a baby there.”
Goeldi’s monkeys, also known as callimicos, are native to the upper Amazon basin of Bolivia, Brazil and Peru. They live near the ground and typically eat fruit and insects, Moyse said.
The zoo’s newest monkey will continue clinging to its mother, Zsazsa, for about five weeks, Moyse said.
“They’re on their mom for a while, and then the dad will actually start carrying them around, too,” she said, adding that the newborn’s father, Butters, is getting ready to help out. “We have seen him go over and get into position, but we haven’t seen the baby riding on dad yet. But that doesn’t mean to say that hasn’t happened.”
The three Goeldi’s monkeys share an exhibit with the zoo’s howler monkeys – the two species get along because they come from the same region, Moyse said. There are a total of nine monkey species in the zoo’s Helen Brach Primate House.
Destruction of the Amazon forest threatens the survival of Goeldi’s monkeys, according to the zoo, which participates in an international conservation effort to preserve the species.
As part of the Goeldi’s Monkey Species Survival Plan, Zsazsa and Butters are scheduled to mate again. Once they do, the newborn monkey will actually help carry and raise its younger brother or sister, Moyse said.
Sept. 11: Luigi, a 1-year-old Hoffman’s two-toed sloth, is getting settled alongside his new primate neighbors in a mixed-species exhibit.
Aug. 25: A trio of newly arrived birds is making noise – lots of it – inside Lincoln Park Zoo’s Dry Thorn Forest exhibit.
Aug. 11: The zoo’s newest residents are being hand-reared by keepers, and scientists will analyze their genetics as part of an international species survival plan.