On the move with Magdalena

We have hair envy when it comes to Magdalena, a tufted capuchin. That is when we can get a good look at her and she’s not zipping around her habitat. Tufted capuchins only spend 12 percent of their time resting—21% is spent travelling and 66% feeding.

Tufted capuchins get their name from their thick, beautiful distinctive caps, but unfortunately her pretty face, ringed with fluffy fur, is what made her a popular choice for the exotic pet trade.

Like many of our former pet residents, Magda came to us with little to no documentation of her life before Primarily Primates. But we do know a lot about tufted capuchins in general that we wanted to share with you.

Tufted capuchins are only found in thick forest in South America, in the countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, French Guiana, Suriname, Guiana and Venezuela. The monkeys typically remain within the understory and lower and middle canopy. Their tails serve as a brake while descending. The tail helps to control risky movements, assist in changes in direction and stabilize them while feeding.

In general, the omnivorous tufted capuchin diet consists of fruits, insects, leaves, nectar, nuts and pith, the relative proportions of which in the diet vary considerably with the seasons. Not surprisingly, Magdalena’s favorite food is bananas.

Tufted capuchins will spend the night in tall trees, chosen for their security, comfort level and appropriateness for social contact. Sleeping trees must be tall to prevent access from terrestrial predators; they must be comfortable and the leaves of the tree must be large enough for more than one individual to sleep side by side.

Pet monkeys are robbed of their ability to move through the trees and socialize with other monkeys because they are kept in caging that confines their ability to freely move to very small areas. In the wild, Magdalena and her group would typically be socializing with other primate species such as sakis, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys and tamarins.

At Primarily Primates, Magdalena and her group live large in a very spacious capuchin habitat that was built with high areas for climbing and exercise. The habitat is filled with numerous toys constructed for enriching her daily activities. She particularly enjoys the company of the alpha male Renaldo.

To help us continue to enrich Magdalena’s life, please consider sponsoring her here.