Squirrel Monkeys Have Arrived

The troop is settling in at the Animal Health Center at Reid Park Zoo.

Guests swill soon be able to experience the energy of tiny, adorable squirrel monkeys at Reid Park Zoo! Three female squirrel monkeys and one male has arrived and are getting acclimated in the Zoo’s Animal Health Center while their new habitat, the Temple of Tiny Monkeys, is being constructed.

Sparkle, Glitter, Dazzle, and Parker have arrived and are already charming the Zoo’s animal care team with their antics. Zoo Keepers are currently training them to participate in voluntary health checks. Additionally, they are also learning how to sit on scales to be weighed.

Sparkle, 4 years old female, is clearly the dominant monkey, according to Sue Tygielski, PhD, Director of Zoo Operations. “She’s fearless and open to new keepers and new fun enrichment objects, especially those with treats,” she explained. “The other two females, Glitter, 3 years old, and Dazzle, 2 years old, wait for Sparkle to investigate new things before they explore.”

The male squirrel monkey, Parker, is just over a year old and weighs about a pound and a half. He is curious and confident and will soon be introduced to three young female squirrel monkeys. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has given a breeding recommendation for this group of squirrel monkeys. Parker and the female squirrel monkeys will move into their new habitat this spring.

They are all very vocal and the animal care staff have identified at least 10 different vocalizations as the monkeys interact with each other and their new surroundings. The pitches vary greatly from shrills to peeps.

The tiny primates all weigh between 1 to 2 pounds with small fingers and very long tails, which wrap around them when they sleep. Their fluffy fur ranges from dark brown on their heads to golden on their legs, back and tails.

Thank you to our community and the donors who have made this new habitat possible!

The former snack bar in South America currently being renovated.


The ancient-ruin theme has already begun to take shape at the former snack bar in South America. This new habitat will include an indoor space with heating, cooling, and a small water feature, and an outdoor space with large trees where the monkeys can swing from branch to branch. A “throne” will be added in the area for fun photo opportunities for our guests.

Interested in learning more about the future of your Zoo and the Bigger Spaces Smiling Faces Campaign? Click here.