Is it an adorable alien? No it's Chester Zoo's new spider monkey arrival

This adorable - if a little odd-looking fellow - is a baby Colombian black-headed spider monkey born at Chester Zoo.

The rare primate was spotted by zoo visitors while being cradled in the arms of new mum, Kiara. Zookeepers have revealed the precious newcomer is female and have named her, Olive.

The highly threatened primate is vulnerable to extinction in the wild, with more than 80% of its population having been lost in the last half a century. The world's authority on the state of nature, The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has listed the species as vulnerable - meaning it faces a high risk of becoming extinct in the wild.

This species of spider monkey is found mainly in Colombia and Panama in South America where it faces threats from hunting and the illegal wildlife trade. The ongoing destruction of their rainforest home, driven mainly by agriculture, has caused severe habitat fragmentation and the species now requires urgent attention to help safeguard their future.

Mark Brayshaw, Head of Mammals at the conservation zoo, said: "Life as a baby spider monkey is very bumpy as these fascinating primates are incredibly agile, spending the majority of their time leaping between the treetops and using their tails to hang upside down while foraging for food. It's fantastic to see Kiara cradling baby Olive closely and being so attentive. Olive will cling to mum's belly for a few months, before gaining enough confidence to start branching off on her own and start exploring independently - which will be great to see.

"Spider monkeys face huge survival challenges in the wild. In welcoming new life into the conservation breeding programme, we're contributing to global efforts to secure a future for these highly endangered primates."