Nashville Zoo is excited to announce the first successful Mexican spider monkey birth at the Zoo. The monkey was born on April 9 to Molly (mom) and Sandy (dad) bringing the total number of spider monkeys in the Zoo’s care to five. The baby and mom are healthy and made their exhibit debut last Thursday.
“Molly has been a great mom so far. She is calm, nurturing and gives the baby plenty of time to nurse,” said Nashville Zoo’s Primate Supervisor Brittany Canfield. “Each member occasionally gets to groom the baby too.”
Mexican spider monkeys have been at Nashville Zoo since 2016 and can be seen at their Spider Monkey: Treetop Passage habitat which opened in 2017. The current plan is for the baby to stay at Nashville Zoo in hopes of growing the numbers of this spider monkey family.
Spider monkeys are an arboreal species meaning they are adapted to living primarily in the trees. Their hook-like hands allow them to easily swing, leap, grasp and hang from branches. Spider monkey’s prehensile tail functions as a fifth limb because it aids in climbing and can support the monkey’s full body weight.
Mexican spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus) are native to the rainforests of Central America and are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to aggressive habitat loss and destruction. Nashville Zoo is part of the Mexican Spider Monkey Species Survival Plan® and financially contributes to the Rainforest Awareness Rescue Education Center, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon.
Stop by Spider Monkey: Treetop Passage today to see the baby and the Zoo’s spider monkey troop! For more information, visit nashvillezoo.org.