A critically endangered Colombian black spider monkey has been born at Fota Wildlife Park in Co Cork.

The public are being asked to help name the new arrival, who is part of a European endangered breeding programme (EEP).

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the Colombian black spider monkey as critically endangered due to hunting, habitat destruction and a long birth cycle.

The Colombian black spider monkey is a sub-species and is native to Colombia and Panama and has a black body, long limbs and an extremely flexible tail with a hairless tip for gripping that, like a human fingerprint, is unique to each animal. It is found in humid forests up to 2,500 metres above sea level, and spends its time up high in the canopy.

Black spider baby monkey females only give birth every two or three years. This is the third baby of mother, Norma, and father, Pinky, and was born on 4 March.

11-year-old Norma arrived in Fota Wildlife Park in 2015 from Le Bioparc de Doué-la-Fontaine in France, while 10-year-old father Pinky was born at Fota.

Speaking about the birth, lead ranger Teresa Power said: "We are delighted to announce the birth of any critically endangered animal. It helps us raise awareness about species loss in the wild and the conservation work here at Fota. European wildlife parks and zoos run cooperative breeding programmes as a demographic and genetic backup to wild populations.

"We don't know yet if the baby is a boy or a girl, but there are two big sisters already in the group, Guadalupe, born in 2017 and Blinky, born in 2020. The new baby has been nibbling at fruit and veg and is becoming more active around the recently upgraded Spider monkey enclosure."