Central Florida Zoo

Infant Spider Monkeys Rescued From The Illegal Pet Trade

Primates come from illegal pet trade, support conservation mission

 SANFORD, Fla. (September 5, 2022) — While baby spider monkeys might look so cute you just want to hold one, having a spider monkey as a pet is anything but innocent.

The cruel truth is that in order for wildlife traffickers to obtain infant spider monkeys to sell into the pet trade, they have to kill the entire troop. That’s exactly what officials believe happened to the three new spider monkeys who have been placed with the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Now, the three primates will serve as a beacon of hope for animal conservation in more ways than one.


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New York Zoos Need Your Help

As a child growing up in Connecticut, it was not unusual for me to visit the Bronx Zoo ten times in one year. It was my Disney World and science classroom rolled into one and it inspired a lifelong love of zoology that led directly (eventually) to ZooBorns. Therefore it was with extreme concern that I learned of Governor Paterson's proposal to cut funding for New York zoos, aquariums and botanic gardens from $9 million to $4 million in 2009 and cut funding entirely by 2010.  

The Governor's plan is to focus funding on "capital initiatives that provide ongoing environmental benefits" rather than "annual operating support" to organizations. I believe the rationale behind this approach to be deeply flawed. Zoos and aquariums communicate the importance of conservation in a tangible way that environmental engineering projects simply cannot. What is more, they reach a far larger and more diverse audience, including millions of children, sowing the seeds of concern for the living world around us. Essentially what these institutions provide is education in its most captivating and inspiring form. This leads to careers in science and financial and political support for conservation initiatives, so I can think of no more worthwhile investment for "ongoing environmental benefits" than the education provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society - the umbrella organization for the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, and New York Aquarium.

The Governor's office can be emailed here:

And now without further ado, we bring you a poster child for this cause, Katie the sea lion pup, born this summer at the Bronx Zoo. The pictures are just a couple of days old and come to us from ZooBorns reader Amber A.

Sea lion pup bronx zoo

Nap time

Sea lion pup bronx zoo sleeping
Katie sounds out in this video from August of last year.

Tiny Two-Toed Sloth at the Central Florida Zoo

Sloth babies are ridiculously cute. Case in point: this adorable two-toed sloth at the Central Florida Zoo born this summer. While sloths in captivity appear brown, grayish or even yellow, wild sloths often appear to have greenish coats because they move so slowly that algae grows on them during the rainy season! 

We all need more baby sloths in our lives.

Baby sloth with toy

Baby sloth laying on blanket

Baby sloth hanging from a branch

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Patriot the Porcupine at the Central Florida Zoo

Born on the 4th of July at the Central Florida Zoo, this tiny South African crested porcupine was aptly named "Patriot." Weighing 1lb at birth, South African crested porcupines are born with fully formed quills, which are initially soft as hair but harden within 24 hours. Baby porcupines are also called "porcupettes!"

Baby porcupine central florida zoo 1

Porcupine affection is a delicate affair.
Baby porcupine central florida zoo with mom

Patriot the porcupine meets the family
Baby porcupine central florida zoo with family

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