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Monkey Business Leads To Miracle Baby Monkey

Maya and baby
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9:55am 20th October 2014

A miracle monkey has been born in Looe.

The baby woolly monkey arrived at the Wild Futures sanctuary over the weekend.

That is even though his mum is supposed to be on contraception, to minimise health risks to the monkeys and to limit any social disruption.

But, it turns out, as with humans, contraceptive methods are not 100% reliable!

Experienced keepers realised Maya was pregnant several months ago, but were unsure of what the outcome might be, partly due to the fact that she is 22 years old and has never had a baby before.

Happily though, she remained fit and healthy throughout her pregnancy and delivered her baby perfectly, showing much skill by cradling the baby as it emerged and cleaning up beautifully.

Keeper Kim Archer was lucky enough to witness the birth: "I can't believe that I have had the luck to see Maya have her baby, there are only a handful of people who have seen a woolly monkey born - what a privilege!"

Her colleague Anthony Williams was also there: "Seeing Maya be so tender with her baby was lovely, but a stark reminder of the cruelty that most of the rescued monkeys at the Sanctuary have suffered; taken from their mothers as tiny infants to be sold into the pet trade. It has to stop."

Woolly monkeys are native to the rainforests of South America and live in complex social groups, ranging from 10 to 45 individuals.

There are 5 different species of woolly monkey, but their long-term survival is seriously threatened due to deforestation of their habitat, hunting for bush-meat and the primate pet trade.

You can get more information on the work of Wild Futures here.

9:55am 20th October 2014

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