22/08/2017

Hand-reared baby titi monkey thriving at Bristol Zoo Gardens

After fighting for his life at birth and being saved by keepers at Bristol Zoo Gardens, a tiny red titi monkey is now thriving.

His mum, Bella, died after giving birth and since then, a dedicated team of keepers have cared for him day and night to keep him alive.

Now two and a half months old and still weighing just 162g, the youngster still needs milk feeds from Zoo keepers three times a day, and sleeps through the night from his final feed at 8pm until his morning feed at 6.30am.

Team leader Emily Lewis said: “We are absolutely delighted with how well Pichiku is doing. He is eating solid food now, small pieces of steamed vegetables, and his favourites are aubergine, courgette and sweet potato which he eats with great enthusiasm.

“We also give him baby rice three times a day, which he loves, and he always manages to get a funny-looking milk moustache.”

Bristol Zoo is believed to be only the second zoo in the country to have succeeded in hand-rearing a titi monkey to this stage.

Emily added: “He has survived against the odds, he’s definitely a fighter, a determined little one and the whole experience has been amazing and immensely rewarding.”

Pichiku, which means ‘little monkey’ in a local Peruvian dialect, one of the native countries to red titi monkeys, is now living in an enclosure with his dad, Junin, next door to the meerkats at Bristol Zoo.

Emily added: “They are living together happily and can often be heard vocalising to each other, with lovely high-pitched chirps. We are hopeful that Pichiku will learn a lot from his father and grow up to be a strong and confident adult too.”

Pichiku has also started to climb and develop muscles in his arms but it will be a year before he is fully grown.

Red titi monkeys are found in remote forest areas of Brazil and Peru where they feed on fruit, leaves, insects and seeds in small territories. 

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