• Species: Brown Capuchins (Cebus apella)
  • Gender: Female
  • Birthday: November 18, 2001
  • Arrival: November 18, 2010
  • Background: Animal Facility Closure
  • Character: Nurturing

Nell was among a group of capuchins who had been rescued from a bankrupt roadside zoo. She had been living in an enclosure with 24 other capuchins. We knew the group included a nursing mother and infant, but they were part of a family group occupying a single habitat, so it sounded like a simple rescue. Then things got complicated when Michelle and two other monkeys gave birth! We were told all the males were vasectomized, so it was quite a surprise -- the males were separated into a bachelor group until they had vasectomies. Michelle and her baby Cindy, along with Aunt Nell were moved into a habitat on their own where they could care for baby Cindy. Because Cindy was mother-reared, she doesn’t have any of the stereotypical behaviors, like rocking, digit sucking or self-grasping. Aunt Nell, Michelle and Cindy are a very close-knit family, even though Cindy is grown, she is never far from her natural mother Michelle, or her Aunt Nell.