Macho monkey in Germany moved after fathering 50
by FFE EU News Staff
A male squirrel monkey has been sent away by zoo authorities on the grounds of fathering 50 babies.
Ten-year-old Purus is to be moved from Halle Zoo near Leipzig, Germany to Zlin Zoo in the Czech Republic before spring breeding season starts, said the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). EAZA has an international breeding programme specific for squirrel monkeys.
Purus’ keeper Jutta Heuer said the monkey Casanova is the only sexually active male in the compound full of 53 female squirrel monkeys. Since his arrival in Halle Zoo in 2009, Purus has fathered 50 from around 25 female monkeys. Last year, 13 out of 18 of his offspring survived.
Halle Zoo officials have decided to move Purus to control animal population and to prevent incest among the squirrel monkeys. Incest or in-breeding can lead to offspring with genetic defects and other weaknesses. Heuer said ‘When relatives breed together you lose genetic material.’
He added that variety in the genes is needed to prevent illnesses and other abnormalities.