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Love is in the air at Belfast Zoo this Valentine’s with the arrival of a tiny titi monkey!

Date: 10 February 2022

Love is in the air at Belfast Zoo this Valentine’s with the arrival of a tiny titi monkey!

This is the sixth offspring for the couple since they arrived here at Belfast Zoo in 2010. Inca will be taking it easy this Valentine’s Day while Aztec has his hands full, as it is the male titi monkey that takes on the lion’s share of the childcare duties.

Unlike most other primates, coppery titi monkeys are very attentive fathers. They do the majority of the carrying, only handing the infant over to the mother for nursing.

The infant will cling to Aztec for approximately four to five months so it will be some time before the keepers are able to confirm the gender of the infant.  

As well as being perfect fathers, coppery titi monkeys are also monogamous meaning that they mate for life. They can often be seen sitting with intertwined tails when they are sleeping or sitting on tree branches.

Zoo curator, Julie Mansell, said “Male coppery titi monkeys make the perfect partner in the primate world as they are both faithful and caring as fathers. We first welcomed Aztec and Inca to Belfast Zoo in 2010 and they have been building their family unit ever since with the arrival of their sixth offspring. Baby is currently doing well and we are looking forward to finding out its sex in a few months.”

As their name suggests, these primates have copper coloured, fluffy fur and a small grey face.  This species is found in the rainforests of South America including Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru.

They are tree dwelling animals that like to look for food in the lower parts of the canopy and can be seen socialising with other species of monkey.  They have an elaborate system of communication that includes vocal, smelling and gestures.