One of the oldest capuchin monkeys in Australasia is turning 44 on Thursday (10 June) at Brooklands Zoo.
Crystal was born in 1966 at Auckland Zoo. She transferred to Brooklands Zoo from Hamilton Zoo in 2008, and on Thursday will be one of the oldest recorded capuchins in captivity.
Technical Officer Zoo Eve Cozzi says the Australasia black-capped capuchin studbook – a database of recorded capuchin breeding in zoos in this region – lists 44 as the oldest age of any female capuchin and 39 for any male.
“She may be getting on but Crystal is a smart cookie – she’s still pretty clued up,” says Ms Cozzi.
“When we’re in the enclosure laying the capuchins’ food out, we’ll keep an eye on Crystal to make sure she’s watching us and when the others aren’t looking, we’ll hide a piece of fruit for her to grab when she gets the chance.
“She’s an old lady and we like looking out for her.”
On Thursday there will be a birthday cake made out of dog biscuits, pig pellets, vitamins, oils and vegetables.
Thursday’s birthday will be a family affair, as the capuchin troop includes Crystal’s daughter Dixie and grandchild Macaco, who was born to Dixie in October last year.