Cheeky monkey hitches a ride

Last Updated : 14 Mar 2016
Spider monkey
Photo credit: Samantha Robertson – Auckland Zoo.

Ever seen a squirrel monkey hitching a ride on a capybara? Now you have!

This gorgeous photo was taken by Auckland Zoo's primate keeper Samantha Robertson. "We can’t say for sure whether or not it has happened before. They have certainly been in close contact though. It was the first time it was captured on camera," she says.

Just as they do in the wild, the zoo’s capybara share a habitat with the squirrel monkeys.

The zoo's capybara and squirrel monkeys have been living in the Rainforest together since March 2015 (when females Rosita and Consuela arrived from Adelaide Zoo). 

The zoo has three capybara - two females: Rosita and Consuela, and one male: Kosh (who arrived at the Zoo in October 2015 from Chester Zoo).

The capybara is the world’s largest rodent, an extremely efficient grazer and a great swimmer (with webbing between its toes). It lives throughout Central and South America in dense vegetation that’s close to freshwater. 

Squirrel monkeys are extremely agile and fast. Unlike a spider monkey, their tail is not used for climbing, but as a kind of "balancing pole". 

Council-controlled organisation Regional Facilities Auckland manages major regional facilities and iconic venues across Auckland, including Auckland Zoo.



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