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Squirrel Monkey

Luke Skywalker came to us in December 2014 at 5 years old from another local animal facility that had an abundance of squirrel monkeys. He had been attacked as a baby holding onto his mother. She was being picked on by a more alpha female and he got hurt in the process. He had several of his fingers bitten off and mangled, thus he had to be separated from the troop as he would have been continually picked on and not able to protect himself. He uses the force every day, and this is how he got the name Luke Skywalker! Approximately 2 years later a female squirrel monkey missing an eye and having alopecia came to us from the same facility as Luke. Princess Leia is his other half. They are a cute, albeit misfit couple! Luke is very rambunctious and has a dominant attitude, even though he is small in stature! He is our only male primate that has come to us un-neutered. Princess Leia is unable to have babies because of her health issues, so Luke has remained fully intact as an adult which is very rare in captive monkeys unless they are part of a breeding program. He is so manly, that even the female baboon has a crush on him. He never lets this go to his head and has remained dedicated to Leia.



Squirrel monkeys are diurnal or day dwelling, arboreal or tree dwelling and can live in groups up to 300. Highly social with very large brains compared to body size, they also have an impressive monkey vocabulary. They have even been known to cooperate with brown capuchin monkeys in finding food or escaping predators. They do not socially groom like many other species of monkey and are polygamists, meaning many different mates. They are omnivores which means they eat both plants and animals. They prefer fruits, berries, flowers, nectar, insects, and invertebrates. They can detect food by colors with their well-developed eyesight. They breed September – November and after a 150 to 170 day pregnancy, babies are born starting in February. A single infant is born, and mama is the only caretaker. The baby is independent at 10 months and can reproduce at the age of 2 for females and 4 for males.


Destruction of natural habitat, pet trade, medical testing, and poaching.

Conservation Status

LC - Least Concern

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