Austrian zoo welcomes several adorable squirrel monkey babies

The world’s oldest zoo in Vienna is celebrating the recent birth of several adorable squirrel monkeys after the adult females from England quickly became pregnant.

The new animal group came to Schoenbrunn Zoo at the end of 2021 as part of the European Conservation Breeding Programme (EEP).

Zookeeper Melanie Toetzl said: ‘About a year ago, a new, bright group of monkeys with several females from England and a male from the Czech Republic moved in with us. That’s why we are now particularly happy about the next generation. Our monkey house has become a real nursery.’

The cute little baby monkeys are still clinging to their mothers’ backs as they get used to the world around them before they can start to climb more on their own.

When not hanging onto their mums’ backs, they will climb around the front in order to suckle. The zoo said that the babies will probably remain close to their mothers for around five months and will then start to eat independently.

The squirrel monkeys are native to the South American rainforest and prefer to climb at lofty heights and jump swiftly from branch to branch.

Zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck said: ‘They are extremely skilled climbers. Their long tail helps them to keep their balance.’

He added: ‘By the way, in relation to their body weight, the curious monkeys have the largest brain of all primates. In the wild, they live together in large family groups, where the female animals have the say.’

The monkeys owe their unusual name to their squirrel-like facial markings, which are already clearly visible in the young animals.