Just look at this little sweetie! The Common Marmoset was born at the Haven on 29th June, but sadly abandoned by his parents after their initial attempts at feeding him were unsuccessful. We tried several times to reunite them, without any luck. His life hung in the balance, until our caring Head Keepers, Terri and Lisa, stepped in to rear the baby themselves. This means round the clock care as he needs feeding every two hours, day and night, until he’s at least four weeks old.
“When he was born, he weighed just 30g, which is less than a small bag of crisps,” says Keeper Lisa Simpkins. “He was very unlikely to survive but we wanted to do all we could to keep the little fella going. Now we’re taking it in turns to look after him overnight, so if you see us yawning, you’ll know why!”
Baby monkeys are very demanding, just like baby humans, and need specialist care including a vitamin rich diet, sunshine, and a family environment. Our mini Marmoset has an incubator to keep him warm, and every few hours, he’s carried around by one of the Keepers, snuggled up against their skin, to mimic the close contact that ideally his mother would provide. It’s an intensive routine – and without our Keepers’ experience and patience, the little one would never have made it.
“So far we have a happy, healthy monkey, but he still has a long way to go before we can reintroduce him to his family group, which will be very important for his longterm wellbeing”, says Lisa. “We hadn’t planned on handling him at all, but had no choice when his Mum abandoned him. As soon as he can eat solid food, he will be going back into the group.”
“We’re doing all we can now for this young man. So please keep your fingers crossed for this gorgeous addition to the Monkey Haven family.”
Keeper Terri Mae adds: “Some people think little monkeys like this would make perfect pets but they’re so wrong! Monkeys are destructive, smelly and unpredictable – they’re wild animals. We’ve seen the damage caused by well-meaning owners who lack the experience needed to care for them. Many pet primates die from neglect or never recover from the experience. Lots of them will self harm or suffer from health problems such as obesity or bone deformities caused by a poor diet. Come and visit our monkeys instead and support the work that we do helping creatures in crisis.”