Adorable squirrel monkeys learn the ropes at Edinburgh Zoo

Roshina Jowaheer
squirrel monkeys
squirrel monkeys



Scientists and zoo keepers at Edinburgh Zoo are celebrating the birth of four adorable squirrel monkeys.

The new arrivals, at the Living Links field station and research centre, were pictured on the backs of their mothers among the mixed groups of monkeys and will one day contribute to ground-breaking research at the facility.

Eldest baby Loki, a female born in June, has already been showing enthusiasm by swinging through the enclosure and trying to get scientist's attention by jumping into research areas when they open the doors.



Dr. Lara Wood, Research Coordinator at Living Links, said: "Entering the research cubicles is a completely voluntary option for all monkeys at Living Links. We couldn't believe it when little Loki made her debut on her mother's back at only three days old. Now five months old and with an outgoing personality, she will enthusiastically jump into the cubicles herself with the older monkeys. In fact, as she associates the area with rewards, it's sometimes challenging getting her back out!

"Loki's curiosity and alertness means she is a little troublemaker, but at the same time she is so irresistibly cute that it is impossible not to succumb to her playful charms. Her big personality even inspired her name; one of the researchers who watched her throughout the summer named her Loki after the God of mischief in Nordic mythology."



Sophie Pearson, Team Leader of Living Links, said: "Each monkey at Living Links has its own distinct personality and it's only fair they get a meaningful name - this always a fun and interesting part of the keepers and researchers' jobs.

"The two male baby monkeys have been named Norrisaur and Gonzo. Norrisaur was named as a birthday present for a keeper. It's a take on his name which encompasses his love for dinosaurs; whereas Gonzo was named after one of the researchers' favourite TV characters because he is always happy. Sofia, the other female youngster, is a bit more graceful so has been named after an actress."



All four baby monkeys can be observed in both the indoor and outdoor enclosures in the West Wing of Living Links. The research facility, which opened in 2008, is split into East and West wings to allow for direct comparative studies to be undertaken.

The large indoor and outdoor enclosures are home to 40 squirrel and 35 capuchin monkeys who live in mixed-species groups which would naturally occur in the wild where they can be found living in groups of up to 300 monkeys. Native to the rainforests of South America, the character-packed squirrel monkeys are instantly identifiable due to their bright yellow legs and arms.



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