Editor’s Note: This is the first in our new series: Rainforest Animal of the Month
Provided by Roger Williams Park Zoo
Faces of the Rainforest, a new exhibit opening at Roger Williams Park Zoo in early summer, will offer guests the opportunity to experience a real live Amazon Rainforest complete with all the flora and fauna of the region.
Joining the Rainforest is a Saki monkey family – Dad, Gaugin, Mom, Suni, and little girl Gigi born on January 8, 2018. Saki monkeys are native to northern and central South America, extending from the south of Colombia over Peru in northern Bolivia and into the central part of Brazil.
They are a smaller monkey with long, bushy tails, furry, rough black, grey, or reddish-brown fur depending on the species. Their bodies are adapted to life in the trees, with strong hind legs allowing them to make far jumps, perfect for their days in the trees of the rainforests.
If you watch the Saki Monkey, you will see that they move mainly on all fours, sometimes running in an upright position on the hind legs over the branches and sometimes jumping long distances. When sleeping, they roll themselves up like a cat in the branches.
Saki Monkeys live in family groups, which consist of parents and their offspring, with mated pairs usually forming lifelong pair bonds. They are territorial, defending their area from other families.
Saki Monkeys are omnivores. In the wild, the Saki Monkey eats fruits, leaves, flowers, insects and small vertebrates, such as rodents and bats. At the Zoo, the Saki Monkey family mainly thrives on Primate Chow, peanuts, sweet potatoes, eggs, bananas, corn on the cob, pears, string beans, carrots, peppers, oranges, grapes, squash, cucumbers, celery, and mealworms.