Houston Zoo primate keepers rally to hand-raise infant Goeldi's monkey

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Thursday, February 3, 2022
Houston Zoo: Goeldi's monkey can be found in Wortham World of Primates and Natural Encounters building
The primate keepers at the Houston Zoo found a surprise waiting for them when they approached the Goeldi's monkey night house, a tiny baby hanging onto a branch in her enclosure.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Zoo's primate keepers found a tiny surprise waiting for them in the Goeldi's monkey night house, Goeldi's newborn.

The primate was born on Jan. 15, 2022, and weighed in at only 34 grams, which is about the weight of a standard light bulb, according to animal care professionals. Usually, the primates are around 50 grams or larger at birth.

The newborn was named Betty in honor of the late, beloved actress and animal lover, Betty White.

RELATED: Meet all the adorable babies born at the Houston Zoo in 2020

Betty's mother did not accept her when caretakers attempted to reintroduce the two. The zoo then, made the decision to hand-raise Betty while continuing to encourage parental bonding that is expected to take more than three months.

Betty and both of her parents were moved to the zoo's state-of-the-art animal hospital to further her care under the supervision of the veterinary staff, the zoo stated in a release.

The Houston Zoo is following practices established by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan for Goeldi's monkeys, which primate keeper say has been successful in raising Goeldi's monkeys in the past.

Late last summer, the team spent months raising a ring-tailed lemur, Cleo, who was smaller than they expected her to be for her 6-week age and not using her hind-legs to grip mom as tightly as she should. Cleo is now making great strides at rejoining her troop. In 2020, the team also hand-raised an infant Schmidt's red-tailed monkey, Peter Rabbit.

The zoo has a partnership with wildlife-saving organizations in Central and South America to protect the wild counterparts of the animals and provides support for conservation work about wildlife protection.

At the Houston Zoo, Goeldi's monkey can be found in Wortham World of Primates and Natural Encounters building.

The Houston Zoo is working to save forests and the animals that live in them by reducing or using recycled content paper wherever possible.

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