Baby Spider Monkey

I enjoyed photographing all of the monkeys in Costa Rica, but especially this baby Spider Monkey with its mother! Or, it this the baby’s older sister? Read on to discover why this might be big sister shown in the photo below. The little one certainly is hanging on tight while being carried through the tree-tops 50 feet above the ground!

These photos were captured in trees surrounding the Bosque del Cabo Lodge, where both spider and capuchin monkeys gathered morning and night to feast on ripe fruit. I got many nice photos here, but am especially fond of this series. I spotted this mom (?) carrying her baby about 7am, with beautiful morning light on the trees. I eagerly tracked this pair through the tree-tops as she fed on fruit.

Then she settled on a large branch and was promptly joined by another adult, and I am quite sure that the baby began nursing on this second mother! The baby’s face is hidden, but this pair sat quietly in this position for several minutes.

I asked Bosque’s naturalist, Philip Davison, about this behavior and he said that an older sibling sister often carries the baby within a monkey troupe. So my best guess is that the baby was carried by a sister and then joined by mother to nurse. When the baby raised its head, I was able to capture my favorite photos of this adoring gaze between baby and mom, beautiful!

One other thing to notice is how a spider monkey uses its strong, agile tail almost as if it were a fifth leg. Often wrapped around a branch or even hanging from its tail. After several minutes, two more monkeys joined this gathering. It appears that all are wanting to be close to the baby and catch a glimpse of this new family member! I feel honored to have watched and recorded this moment.

To close this story, I cropped one of the photos of mom and baby on my computer to focus more attention on the beautiful gaze…

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