Written By: Andrew Connolly
What group always captivates audiences with their intelligence and similar attributes to man? Monkeys. Lucky enough for zoo staff and guests alike, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is home to multiple species of monkeys which we celebrate annually on December 14th, or World Monkey Day.
We have a lot to celebrate this year with the birth of a Golden Lion Tamarin and a Black-Handed Spider Monkey here at the zoo this year!
Watching these two grow up has been a remarkable experience. The first born of the two, the baby Golden Lion Tamarin, was a welcome surprise to celebrate at the zoo in the late spring. Carried by father for the early weeks of their life, this young one grew quickly, and today can be seen jumping, leaping, and climbing about their habitat. With their chirping calls and vibrant personality, they captivate the gaze of all who walk by. The golden fur of these small monkeys’ glows in the rays of sun coming in from the skylight above, and their small hands seem to clasp everything. A clasping reflex that is so human-like.
Another baby at the zoo is also learning to clasp, climb, and explore. In August of 2023, the zoo welcomed a baby Black-Handed Spider Monkey. Born to father Gilligan and mother Janet, the young monkey is becoming more adventurous each day. They spent the first 3 months of life clinging to their mother, and have recently been observed exploring on their own, with their tail clasped to mother for comfort. It is an exploration so child-like, with a step, a gaze, a wobble, and a scamper back to the comfort of their mom.
So, this year come to the zoo with the wonder and curiosity of every child and enjoy the beautiful monkeys that call this place home.