Honolulu Zoo unveils new exhibit for critically endangered spider monkeys

HONOLULU – The Honolulu Zoo is pleased to announce the completion of a new exhibit to house their six critically endangered black-handed spider monkeys. The $2 million enclosure includes a new 24-foot ceiling and climbing structures, allowing plenty of space for the semibrachiator monkeys to swing in the exhibit.

For an interview with Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos and b-roll of the new exhibit, please follow this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GggTWbibTjopPPjRQqA-5GWCiQ9Hnr8m/view?usp=sharing

“The Honolulu Zoo is as delighted about the new exhibit as the spider monkeys seem to be,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos. “This exhibit shows the modernization of what newer exhibits should look like. After exploring their new home, we’ve seen them lounging around and relaxing everywhere. That tells us that they’re happy and chill in their new digs.”

“This kind of improvement is part of our successful march towards regaining accreditation at the Honolulu Zoo,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Director Santos and her team have done an incredible job in getting this and other newly remodeled exhibits up and running. Also, there’s nothing more fun than watching spider monkeys swing around all over the place.”

The Honolulu Zoo is home to six spider monkeys: Spaz, Pikake, Kahea, Cricket, Black Head, and Phoebe. Their ages range from 22 to 45, respectively. The old spider monkey exhibit was designed in the 1940s. The new, modernized exhibit is larger and taller. It provides areas for the monkeys to climb, hang from, and sit. New features include two large artificial trees, a rock wall formation, and vegetation, including grass and landscaping. Grass is a new experience for these monkeys, and they can be found lying down and relaxing in the exhibits grassy patches.

Black-handed spider monkeys come from Central and South America and are considered critically endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Spider monkeys are “semibrachiators,” meaning they travel by using their limbs to grab from one hold to another. Their prehensile tail, which can grab hold of branches and objects like a third arm, assists in brachiation.

The spider monkeys can be seen on exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo during its modified hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.