Rare baby monkey born at Essex zoo cradled by mum in adorable pictures

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The Colombian black spider monkey alongside mum Cheekaboo -Credit:Jamie-Reeve / Colchester Zoo© SWNS

A rare baby spider monkey has been spotted for the first time at Colchester Zoo, Essex, cradled by its mother in heartwarming scenes. The baby, born on April 16, was seen venturing out into the enclosure with its mother, Cheekaboo.

Footage shows the newborn primate clinging to its mother as she walks around her enclosure. The birth of the baby is a boost for the species, which faces threats from hunting, the pet trade, and habitat destruction, leading to an alarming decline of more than 80 percent of its population in the past five decades.

Colchester Zoo's primate keeper, Emily, said: "The baby is still only a few weeks old, so we don't yet know whether we have a baby girl or boy, but we will be looking out over the next month to see what name suits best. This birth is really important for the conservation of the species as Colombian black spider monkeys are currently listed as Endangered, so it's great news to welcome this new arrival."

Mum Cheekaboo already has six offspring to her name. Her daughters, Chilli and Cherry, along with the father, Julius, are playing a role in caring for the latest addition to their family.

The zoo reported that both Chilli, aged 7, and Cherry, aged 3, have shown keen interest in their new sibling. Julius has been supportive, helping to look after the baby during cuddles with Cheekaboo.

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The baby's face will turn black as it ages -Credit:Nina-Day / Colchester Zoo© SWNS

Adorable pictures reveal the two-week-old infant's pink face peeking out from its mother's arms towards the camera. Colombian black spider monkeys are named for their resemblance to spiders, owing to their unusually long limbs. Newborn black spider monkeys have pink faces and ears, but as they mature, their hair darkens.