Project Description

The kwata or black spider monkey

The kwata monkey or black spider monkey, is one of the seven spider monkey species found in South America. The long tail, with a bald spot of about 8 cm at the end, is covered with wrinkles and ridges and has a length ranging from 60 to 90 cm. This “fifth hand” is used to grip something firmly. The body length varies from 40 to 60 cm. The kwatta monkey lives in loose social groups, the size of which depends on the local living conditions. On average, the forest has about twelve monkeys per square kilometer. When food is plentiful, the number can be as high as a hundred.

Unfortunately, many of these animals are kept as pets. They do indeed look cute and cuddly and especially when they are very young, people are all too often willing to purchase such an animal. However, as these monkeys grow, they increasingly show their true nature, namely monkey-like behavior. Their owners are not happy with that and they want to get rid of their pet as quickly as possible. Many of these animals then end up in Paramaribo Zoo. This happens so often that we no longer have a shelter for these monkeys and therefore have to say “no”. You don’t want to think about what happens to the disgraced pets. That is why we cannot say often enough: wild animals are not pets!

(photo: Gustao Zea)