Keepers at a rescue centre near Newport are ‘bringing up’ a tiny monkey after its mother abandoned it.
‘Baby’, as it’s being temporarily named, is just one week old. It was born at the Monkey Haven in Newport, but its mother is too old to care for it and its father died shortly before it was born.
He was just lying on the floor crying. We had to do something.
The marmoset had its one-week birthday yesterday (Thursday). It’s one of the smallest types of monkey in the world.
Terri Lock, Animal Manager at the Monkey Haven in Newport – which also rescues and cares for owls – says it’s a new challenge for them:
We didn’t know if it would survive. We’re still taking it a day at a time. We’ve never had to do this for a monkey before…
The monkey, which weighs just 32g, is mainly being kept in an incubator at an optimum temperature. It won’t be near any visitors to avoid it catching an infection. Only two of the staff, Terri and Lisa, have access to the monkey. They take it in turns to look after it, which includes taking it home overnight and feeding it every two hours.
They don’t know the gender of the monkey yet, as male and female marmosets have very similar features until they’re a certain age. Terri says they’re open to suggestions for a name.
It’ll be introduced to a group of its own kind when it’s four months old.
The Haven care for all types of monkeys, most of which have had a rough past, as Terri explains:
We have a squirrel monkey that came with an arm broken in two places because its owner forced it to wear a dress. When they’ve had such a poor start in life, we want to give them the best care possible.