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Meet Hunter Valley Wildlife Park’s adorable new addition

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New mum Jan with her baby at the Hunter Valley Wildlife Park. Photos: Chad Staples

When animal lovers visit the Hunter Valley Wildlife Park in the coming weeks they should be on the lookout for an adorable new addition. 

The park recently welcomed another primate into its family after Jan the spider monkey gave birth to her first child. 

Managing director of Australian Wildlife Parks Chad Staples says the two and a half week old monkey is already stealing hearts. 

“It’s absolutely adorable,” he said.

“It’s such an exciting moment whenever there is a primate born – I think it is of very special interest to most people because it looks so human-like in a way.

“People just love watching the interactions between the group of spider monkeys and now they see this loving picture of mum with this cute baby tucked up under her arm, holding on to her.

“When people notice it they spend a lot of their time there.”

The baby is already on display for visitors to the park, Chad says Jan will carry it around the enclosure until it becomes more independent. 

When it comes to naming the new family member, they can’t start chatting about it until they know the gender of the monkey. 

“We won’t name it until we know if it is a boy or a girl,” Chad said.

“As soon as mum is comfortable enough for us to get that sneak peek we will be able to start talking about it. 

“It can be very difficult, it’s a huge responsibility naming anything and you really want the personality to play a part so we won’t rush it because we want to make sure it’s perfect.” 

Jan’s love for her child is a real success story for the park after the last spider monkey that was born was abandoned by its mother. 

Chad says it’s been amazing to watch Jan do so well. 

He adds that people who have already spotted the new arrival have been fascinated by it. 

“It’s just amazement, if there is no one there to point it out, people don’t see it straight away but the moment somebody does then people are enthralled,” Chad said. 

“We’d love more people to come and see it, it is so adorable at the moment and to watch mum doing what she does with it is very cute.

“It is a definite must-see when it’s this small.”

Go to the Hunter Valley Wildlife Park website for more information about the park and its opening hours.

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