Excited skull-faced squirrel monkeys catch snowballs at UK zoo

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lcrba9plytdehoh/VRP10732.mp4?dl=0

This is the moment Bolivian Black-Capped Squirrel Monkeys lined up to play catch using snowballs thrown by their keepers at a UK zoo.

Despite the conditions brought to the world by the pandemic, vets and zookeepers continually work to ensure the 18,000 animals in their care at the world-famous ZSL Zoo in Regent’s Park, London, are kept properly amused.

The squirrel monkeys, as can be seen, loved playing in the snow, and for a few of them, including youngsters Agnes and Pip, who were born last year, it was their first time experiencing snow when they were filmed on February 8.

The zoo currently has 19 Black-capped or Bolivian squirrel monkeys in the troop, originating from South America.

The squirrel monkey species fur is short and close, coloured olive at the shoulders and yellowish orange on its back and extremities.

Their throat and the ears are white and their mouths are black.

Germans call this species, ‘skull monkeys’ because of their black and white facial appearance.

Squirrel monkeys grow from 25 up to 35 cm, plus a 35 to 42 cm tail and weigh from 750 to 1100g.

Extraordinarily, the squirrel monkeys have the largest brain, proportionately, of all the primates, with a brain mass to body mass ratio of 1 to 17.

They live together in multi-male or female groups with up to 500 members, although these large groups can, however, occasionally break into smaller troops.

They have a variety of vocal calls, such as warning sounds used to protect themselves from natural predators such as falcons.

Their nutrition consists mainly of insects, as well as fruit and seeds and squirrel monkeys can be found living in rainforests of upper Amazon in Peru, Brazil and Bolivia, where they spend most of their time in the canopy, and periodically scavenging on the forest floor.