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Two new spider monkeys join Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

spider monkeys by shannon calvert x.jpg
Shannon Calvert
Courtesy Photograph
Two spider monkeys have joined Gilligan and TT (above) at Bridgeport's Beardsley Zoo.

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport has two new spider monkeys as part of a program designed to help the endangered species.

Spider monkeys are highly threatened, and the black-handed spider monkey is endangered due to a shrinking wild habitat and being hunted for food.

Two female black-handed spider monkeys recently journeyed from Montgomery Zoo in Alabama. Bertha is 30 and Janet is 16. They’ve been introduced to 8-year-old Gilligan and 22-year-old TT, who’ve been at the zoo for three years.

Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said they’re getting along well, which is encouraging.

“So right now we’re hopeful in the future that we’ll have some offspring coming from Bertha and from Janet and grow the troop,” he said.

The monkeys are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Program. They live in a habitat featuring a landscaped outdoor yard, and they can choose to be inside or outside.

Dancho says the habitat is a model for the kind of animal homes the Beardsley Zoo can build in the future.

Michayla Savitt was a summer 2022 newsroom intern at Connecticut Public, and covered environmental and health issues. She is finishing up her graduate degree at the CUNY School of Journalism, and can often be found exploring NYC or seeking new music.
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