Usually my job as a zoo keeper is pretty mundane: scrubbing food dishes, chopping vegetables and fruit, raking up hay, getting pooped on, etc. Of course, there is always the chance that something might bite me, but in fact I get along with my animal charges pretty well so that seldom happens. Once in a while though, we have a real challenge.
Now is one of those times. One of
our squirrel monkeys gave birth unexpectedly to a tiny female. Unfortunately, she rejected the baby. We tried to foster the infant with another female, but she wasn't able to produce any milk. So now it's our turn to play mom!
It isn't easy. She needs to eat every couple of hours, day and night. She needs a specialized formula, and must have a stuffed animal to cling to at all times because in the wild, squirrel monkeys carry their infants at all times. The babies continue to nurse for 6 months and stay with their mothers for a year. So raising a baby monkeys is no easy task!