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they are 'asked' to leave by the parents.
Recently Mushu, Gonzo and Monyet's
first-born, was re-homed to another zoo.
"It was difficult for us to send him
away," Bec said.
"He was our first-born Capuchin and
eight years old, but interestingly Mushu
stayed longer with the family than his
younger brother did."
Full of personality and all under the
age of five, Peanut and his brothers cause
regular daily mischief.
"Capuchins are really naughty and
really smart monkeys," Bec said.
"Baby Capuchins are like naughty kids
sometimes. They will actually stand next
to another monkey that's eating food and
scream like they've been injured just so
the parents will go and tell the other one
off, and then the naughty one picks the
food up that the other one's dropped as it
"You can see it in their eyes 'I'm gonna
cause trouble for you' and then they'll just
There's another family unit with
youngsters at the zoo -- Cotton Top
Tamarins. The tiniest are brother and
sister twins, who share nine other siblings.
With a total of 11 babies in three years,
Mum, Arica, and dad, Caligula, have been
very busy, with most matings producing
twins each time.
A large family is not uncommon in
Tamarin life; it's the dad and siblings who,
when mum's not suckling the newborns,
carry the babies on their back and teach
them the life lessons they'll need.
The as-of-yet un-named Tamarin twins
weighed just 50 grams when they were
first born and spent about the first three
to four months of life riding around on
their brothers' and sisters' backs.
Carrying the newborn babies is an
important job, so siblings will bicker over
"One Tamrin will go over and sit next
to the other one who has the baby on its
back and the Tamrin will try to coax the
baby over, and if that doesn't work, then
it'll start trying to pull it off," Bec said.
Some babies need a little extra care
from the keepers to help them successfully
thrive in a captive environment.
From monkey mayhem to baby
birds, the zoo's three penguin chicks
are currently being hand-reared, which
involves them being temporarily separated
from the rest of the 13 colony members
and hand fed by keepers twice a day.
There is limited handling involved
during the time the chicks are hand-
reared; the aim is solely to ensure
that, as adults, the penguins will feed
independently from a keeper's hand so
keepers can monitor body weight.
The length of time chicks are hand-
reared for depends on how long it takes
them to learn to take food from the
human hand; for some it might be three
weeks, others such as a cheeky guy called
Blue Chick, had the keepers feeding him
for nine months.
This summer, go along to the zoo and
meet the penguins, the Tamarin twins,
and Peanut, Gomez and Max and witness
the fun they're having annoying their
siblings and fooling their keepers.
Come visit the
A family holiday that won't break the bank!
Tumut Region Visitor Centre 02 6947 7025
National Zoo and Aquarium
Where: Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla
When: 10am-5pm everyday,
except Christmas Day
Cost: Adult $28.50, Children $16.50,
Concession $23.50, Family $84
Phone: 6287 8400
ACTIVE: Capuchin and Tamarin monkeys keep their parents and keepers on their toes.
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