SANFORD, Fla. - Violet, Sunny, and Klaus made their debut Monday at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens.
The three infant Mexican spider monkeys were confiscated at the U.S-Mexico border, where agents said they were being smuggled into the country as part of the illegal pet trade. Because they appear to be of different ages, officials believe they are from three different troops, meaning many monkeys were killed in the wild to obtain these infants.
[Credit: Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens]
"That means that their families were killed in order for them to be taken and smuggled into the United States," explains Christopher Torge, the zoo's director of animal operations.
In addition to the monkeys, there are three miniature sheep known as Harlequin Sheep.
"They've only been around for about 30 or 40 years, this breed, and they've been bred for their small size but also their exceptional quality of wool," Torge adds.
The new animals arrive ahead of this year's Zoo Boo Bash, which is held on the last two weekends of October