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Tiny monkey born at small Devon zoo

By WMNAGreenwood  |  Posted: December 11, 2013

Tiny monkey born at small Devon zoo
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A pair of the world’s most diminutive monkeys are rearing a tiny newborn at a small Westcountry zoo.

The baby pygmy marmoset was born to parents, Mork and Mindy, at Shaldon Wildlife Trust last month after a nervous few weeks for staff.

Weighing just 100 grams, the monkeys are the smallest in the world and the newborn was only about the size of a “jelly baby”.

The trust’s head keeper Rachel Baker said: “We have been monitoring Mindy closely over the past few weeks as we suspected that she was pregnant but it has been very hard to see the baby as it is so tiny and well camouflaged on mum and dad’s back.

“All is well however and the youngster is now starting to venture off on its own and coming back to mum for feeding.”

The pygmy marmoset is the first to be born at the trust, which is the smallest member zoo of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria, for several years.

It’s hoped the pair, which are part of a European breeding programme, will continue to have young.

The species, which in some areas of South America is victim to the pet trade and deforestation, has a very specialised diet, consisting mostly of sap which it harvests by gouging holes in the bark of trees.

The trust, which has concentrated on the conservation of smaller endangered species, has to import acacia gum which is spread on branches to mimic the animals’ natural feeding behaviour.

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