NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Last month the Nashville Zoo announced a new addition who is quickly becoming one of their favorite attractions, a baby Mexican spider monkey.

Born on April 9th, its gender has not been determined, so he, or she has not been named yet.

The mother, named Molly, is twenty-one. She had two previous failed attempts at having a baby. So, everyone is thrilled that the third time was the charm.

“This exhibit is very special,” exclaimed Tatum Basham, Nashville Zoo Primate Keeper. “We have four Mexican spider monkeys here. This is our first time having a baby spider monkey, so it’s very important and very special to us. The exhibit is very natural-looking. It’s very beautiful, and there’s a very fun rope bridge that you guys can go on.”

It’s especially exciting for the kids visiting the zoo.

“It’s so exciting to see all the kids come, and ‘Oh, a monkey!’ I just get to talk about them and educate them, which is very fun overall,” Basham said. “Everyone’s so excited to come see the baby, especially.”

It’s particularly important that this baby was born since spider monkeys are an endangered species.

“Mexican spider monkeys are critically endangered,” Basham explained. “The most important reason why is deforestation. A lot of their habitat has been destroyed. Almost about 70% of their habitat has been destroyed. So, it’s very important that they are here a the zoo and they are part of the SSP plan, which is the Species Survival Plan. And we have had one successful Mexican spider monkey.”

Spider monkeys get their name for their extremely long, spidery limbs and their tail, which can support their entire weight and is often used as a third arm for swinging through the trees. Add their entertaining acrobatics to a cute newborn baby, and the spider monkey exhibit is a must-see at the Nashville Zoo.

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