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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Dalton zoo visitors go nuts as baby monkey appears

CLINGING to her mother for dear life, this newborn, minuscule monkey braves an icy cold day at Dalton Zoo.

Weighing just one kilo, the tiny Colombian black spider monkey entered the world in South Lakes Wild Animal Park last Friday.

Though not yet named, she is a daughter for parents Kaly and Alex and joins the seven spider monkeys already living at the popular attraction.

Monkey keeper Helen Pearson said: “Even though it looks tiny, it’s actually a relatively big baby.

“Every morning and evening we do a visual check to make sure it’s clinging and feeding. We know it’s really strong.

“The mum doesn’t have to hold it at all – she can climb and do everything while it hangs on.”

In another primate addition, a howler monkey was born at the zoo on December 30, joining the three monkeys of the same species at the park.

It will typically cling to its mother for one year, so zoo staff do not yet know its gender.

As with all newborn howlers, the monkey is blonde.

If it is a female, it will stay that colour, but turn black if it is a male.

Meanwhile, last Friday the zoo also welcomed six western grey kangaroos from Marwell Wildlife park in Hampshire.

They range in age from one to 18 years and join the 20-plus marsupials already on site.

Park boss David Gill said Dalton zoo actually supplied Marwell with its mob of kangaroos years ago, but bosses in Hampshire have decided not to keep them and so the present herd have returned to the home of their predecessors.

To Mr Gill’s knowledge, it is the biggest collection of western grey kangaroos in Europe.

Hannah Colgan, kang-aroo keeper, said: “They’re still getting used to it but are getting used to the keepers going in now.”

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