Tiny monkey who defied the odds at Bristol Zoo Gardens is thriving

A tiny monkey at Bristol Zoo Gardens whose life hung in the balance eight months ago is now enjoying himself outdoors.

Pichiku’s mum, Bella, died shortly after she gave birth to him in May and keepers took the decision to hand rear him.

It meant weeks of round the clock care. For the first fortnight they took it in turns to take him home at night and feed him baby milk every couple of hours.

Today he is thriving and on his way to being fully grown and has now started exploring his enclosure outside the heated house he shares with his dad, Junin.

Mammals Senior keeper Shanika Ratnayake said: “He has always been pretty confident. In fact he led the way going out of the house to the island in the enclosure.”

Bristol Zoo Gardens is believed to be only the second Zoo in the country to have successfully hand-reared a red titi monkey.

Shani said: “Red titi monkeys are very difficult to hand-rear and we took lots of advice from people who had tried to do it before.

“Everytime we hand-rear an animal successfully it’s a big win but we only do it when there’s no alternative.”

Pichiku now enjoys a normal diet of vegetables including sweet potatoes and peppers, as well as insects and marmoset jelly.

His name means ‘little monkey’ in Peru, one of the countries where red titi monkeys are found. They also live in Brazil in remote forest areas.


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