Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Welcomes Two New Black and Gold Howler Monkeys

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is the new home for two Black and Gold Howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya). The two Howler monkeys are sisters from San Antonio, Texas. Estrella, six years old, and Catalina, four years old, join the Zoo’s existing male Howler monkey, Cain, whose two previous female companions passed away from advanced age.

Photo Jack Bradley

Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said, “Our Black and Gold Howler monkeys are some of the most popular animals who make their home here at the Zoo for their charismatic personalities. Native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, they are an important South American species. We’re pleased to welcome ‘Ella’ and ‘Lina’ to the Zoo.”

Other recent additions to the Rainforest Building include a golden lion tamarin, a Goeldi’s monkey, and a two-toed sloth, all new residents within the last year. Two North American river otters, Sedge and Tahu, are also recent additions to the Zoo family. Last week, two Dexter cows were added to the New England Farmyard.

About Black and Gold Howler Monkeys
These large monkeys grow to about 2 ft. in length, not including their tail, and have long soft fur. Males can weigh on average about 15 lbs., sometimes weighing twice as much as females. These monkeys have a long prehensile tail, with a hairless underside, useful for grabbing onto tree limbs when they are feeding. Howler monkeys are the loudest animals in the New World, with a guttural howl that can travel for three miles through dense forest. These monkeys are a great example of sexual dichromatism when females and males of the same species have different colors. Females and young of both genders are a golden color, while adult males are black. The species is under pressure from habitat loss as well as being hunted for meat, and for export for the illegal pet trade. Their average lifespan is 16-20 years, although the Zoo was once home to the longest living Howler monkey in human care, Zuele, who passed away at 32 years of age.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 99th year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, maned wolves, Mexican gray wolves, and red wolves. Other highlights include our new Spider Monkey Habitat, the Rainforest Building, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with Giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can ride on the carousel, grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a non-profit organization approaching its 100th year at a time when the mission of helping fragile wildlife populations and ecosystems is more important than ever.

Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at; guests taking advantage of the free program for Connecticut children must also make reservations online. In accordance with the state of Connecticut COVID-19 guidelines: we recommend that guests continue to wear masks while visiting the Zoo, but when guests are outside and are able to maintain social distance, masks may be removed. In any indoor area, or when social distancing cannot be maintained, masks are required. Everyone over the age of two, with the exception of those with medical conditions that preclude wearing them, should have a mask available.

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