Oldest Spider Monkey Ever Recorded Lives At Fort Rickey In Rome
Gummy, the Spider Monkey, came to Fort Rickey Children's Discovery Zoo at the age of 18 and is still going strong after 36 years.
Gummy is the oldest Spider Monkey ever recorded and is an incredible 54 years old. The average lifespan In the wild is about 25 years, and in captivity, they can live up to 40 years. Gummy came to Fort Rickey Children's Discovery Zoo in Rome with very few teeth, hence her name.
Len Cross from Fort Rickey says:
What sets Gummy apart from all the rest, other than her exceptional age, is her desire to be affectionate towards her Keepers. In the morning when I start my routine, the first thing that I do is to take a minute to say good morning to Gummy. She comes to the door of her holding area, reaches out between the door and the opening and gently wraps her arm around my neck. We say a few things in “Spider Monkey Talk” with our faces pressed close together. I sniff her chest glands like a polite Spider Monkey must do in such a greeting. They smell sort of smoky and oily and the morning begins. This is not something that she learned here. She came to us with this behavior and had to teach it to us. It is very tender and means a great deal to me.
Len says a keeper from the San Diego Zoo treated her very, very well for her to exhibit such affection and would like to arrange a reunion after all these years.
A new attraction at Fort Rickey is the 35 feet by 65 feet Jumbo Jumper pillow bounce.
They've also added a new exhibit for their new Capybara, the largest rodent in the world and can weigh as much as 150 pounds!