Hero Zookeepers Save Abandoned Baby Monkey From Starvation
A baby black-handed spider monkey has been saved by zookeepers after an early-life complication.
The monkey, named Elena, was cared for by her mother for around three months before all of a sudden the bonding stopped in early September.
While zookeepers tried their best to re-introduce the infant to her mother, their efforts were to no avail.
So zookeepers took it on themselves to help nurse Elena back to health after her mother stopped feeding her.
She's now in good health, according to Melbourne Zoo Primates Life Science Manager Harna Burton.
"After a rocky journey, Elena is in good health and starting to learn how to swing around," she said.
"She's looking adorable and super cute."
The decision to intervene was not taken lightly, but when the infant started to show signs of dehydration they sprung into action.
"As a last resort, and to ensure her survival, we made the decision to hand-raise her." said Burton.
She was taught to climb by keepers before being introduced to hard foods and has finally been allowed to re-integrate with the group.
Elena even has a new surrogate mother caring for her according to Burton.
"Our oldest female spider-monkey, Maya took on a surrogate role," she said.
"She's now carrying Elena around and protecting her, whilst still allowing keepers to administer feeds."
If this scenario had taken place out in the wild, the outcome could have been fare more tragic.
"Elena would have likely died without any support," said Burton.
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