Meet baby squirrel monkey at Palm Beach Zoo

Squirrel monkey Luna and her baby at the Palm Beach Zoo.jpg
Posted at 8:44 AM, Oct 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-27 08:45:41-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — If you've ever wanted to become a wildlife hero, you're in the right place.

WPTV is now the official media partner of the Palm Beach Zoo. Our goal is teaching you about conservation efforts to protect and save wildlife, which is the main mission at the zoo.

Our news team is introducing you to a new addition at the zoo, where a baby squirrel monkey was born just over two weeks ago.

If you've been to the zoo, you know the squirrel monkey habitat is a popular one. And now with a new baby, it's even more of a favorite.

There’s a new resident at the Palm Beach Zoo, but it will take a good eye to spot him.

"You may have noticed we have an extra squirrel monkey," said Sam Meinke, who's with the zoo's primate team.

That’s right. 12-year-old Luna gave birth just a few short weeks ago to a healthy baby boy. It’s the first squirrel monkey born at the zoo in 12 years.

The baby might be small in size, but already has a big personality.

"The baby is super active for its age. So normally, they’re supposed to be clinging onto mom like a backpack. But this baby is already trying to grab onto different trees. For the first few months, baby will stay glued to mom’s back. But this little guy is already trying to explore," Meinke said.

"How long does it take for baby squirrel to get off of mama’s back?" WPTV First Alert Weather meteorologist Jennifer Correa asked Meinke.

"Usually only a couple months. So after that, they get antsy and they start running around," Meinke answered.

As any mother knows, it takes a village. And just like us humans, mama doesn’t have to do it alone.

"All of the monkeys actually participate in helping care for the young," Meinke said.

If you’ve been to the zoo you know just how popular this habitat is, even more so now with the new addition.

"People when they come here, what they love about them is they’re always moving, always in motion. So it’s a very dynamic habitat," Meinke said.

The little baby not only melting hearts of visitors, but the zookeepers are falling in love with him, too.

"This baby is stealing my heart as well. How could it not?" Meinke said.

The question on everyone’s mind is does this little guy have a name? The Palm Beach Zoo said it needs your help deciding. It's going to post a poll on the zoo's website to let people pick a name.