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Edmonton Zoo welcomes new monkey

It might have been a little too much monkeying around that led to the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s latest addition.

It might have been a little too much monkeying around that led to the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s latest addition.

A baby squirrel monkey was born at the zoo on Feb. 1 and proud staff members were showing off the newborn Thursday morning.

“She’s a pretty healthy monkey,” said zookeeper Estefani Fujita. “We’ve had six squirrel monkeys born here at the zoo, (and) this is the seventh.”

The baby monkey doesn’t have a name yet, and zookeepers have to wait until the monkey becomes more independent before they determine its gender. In the meantime, it’s starting to get comfortable riding on its mother’s back and playing with the other monkeys in the exhibit.

“Mia is a really good mother, almost every year she has a baby,” Fujita said. “She delivered by herself at night so we didn’t see it. We just saw it when we came in the morning, but it went pretty well.”

Squirrel monkeys are native to the forests of Central and South America and are the largest monkey group in the world.

“They’re very sociable and playful animals,” Fujita said. “They’re curious and these guys like a lot of attention.”

Attention is what they’ll get as groups of children come through the exhibit every day. Fujita said it’s hard to say who gets more excited, the monkeys or the kids.

“The monkeys right now are kind of used to getting children here every day,” she said. “So I think the children get a little more excited.”