Brevard Zoo’s 19-Year-Old ‘Tika’ Gives Birth to New Black-Handed Spider Monkey
By Brevard Zoo // June 12, 2022
infant joins troop that includes three siblings
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Our black-handed spider monkey troop has a new member – although this one doesn’t have any markings reminiscent of any comic book heroes like our last spider monkey infant.
Nineteen-year-old Tika gave birth overnight on May 28. While we don’t know the sex of the infant yet, our animal care team reported that the baby was well and nursing successfully.
The infant joins a troop that includes three siblings: a nearly two-month-old infant who has not been named yet, 1-year-old sister Blue Steel and 4-year-old sister Daisy. Rainforest Revealed area supervisor Michelle Ferguson said the new infant looked a lot like her sister Blue Steel.
The rest of our spider monkey troop has been very gentle with the new mom and baby. Mateo, our 2-year-old spider monkey, has shown special interest in the new troop member.
If you’re hoping to see the new infant, look carefully in our spider monkey habitats in Rainforest Revealed! Tika’s troop usually has access to at least two habitats. The infant will stay with mom, Tika, for at least 2 years.
Every Zoo birth is a safeguard against losing these precious species in their natural range. Native to Central and South America, black-handed spider monkeys are classified as vulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss as well as the illegal pet trade. To help put a stop to the illegal pet trade, check out the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance’s tips for consumers and Legislative Action Center.