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BLACK-HANDED SPIDER MONKEYS

Sarah has become quite the celebrity at the Sanctuary, mostly because if she gets a like in you, she will climb on you and you will carry her for the whole tour.
An outstanding feature of these somewhat odd-looking primates is their fully-prehensile tail, which can grip and hold onto just about anything possible to facilitate movement in the trees.

Physical Characteristics:

The spider monkey’s fur can be black or blonde, although mostly dark with a lighter belly, such as old Frankie and his girlfriend. Adults weigh between 6-8kg, and measure about 30-70cm tall when walking upright (a feat they can do quite well). Spider monkeys do not have thumbs – another feature that facilitates their effortless swinging from branch to branch.

Habitat:

Unlike the squirrel and capuchin monkeys, black-handed spider monkeys live in Central America, from Mexico in the northeast all the way to Costa Rica and Panama in the south. They are primarily arboreal, spending most of their time in the very tops of trees. It is a common notion that monkeys “swing from tree to tree,” however, most can’t as they do not have full movement of their arms as apes do (try hanging from a monkey-bar – easy, isn’t it?). Spider monkeys are the exception to the rule, however, and can swing quite easily between branches.

Diet:

Fruit, seeds, flowers, insects, leaves and tree bark.

Life Cycle:

Spider monkeys give birth to a single offspring after a gestation period of 7-8 months. Sexual maturity is reached at an age of 4-5 years. The average life expectancy is 27 years.

Projects On The Go

Monkey Sanctuary HP 1Conservation in Southern Africa is rapidly becoming unsustainable without the active involvement of the community, especially the younger, more active generation. The Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary and The Elephant Sanctuary group strongly believe that we have to get the younger members of communities involved to instill a passion for the environment and wildlife in them through education.

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Pet Monkeys... Really A Good Idea?

monkey as petI'll introduce you to Joyce, for example. A young female capuchin, she was rather pampered with child-like paraphernalia; a dress and a small hat around her head. Cute, indeed. She had been with her "foster" family since only two months old, bought straight from a breeder. The couple who owned her did not have children, and so decided to substitute the missing link with a primate, albeit a bit smaller...and with sharper teeth.

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Hartebeespoortdam, South Africa

+27 (0)12 258 9904

info@monkeysanctuary.co.za