Spider Monkey’s Heartwarming Journey to Friendship After Loss at CNY Zoo
Sassy has a new friend after losing her lifelong companion at one Central New York zoo. But it's not another spider monkey. In fact, it's not a monkey at all.
Sassy recently lost her lifelong companion, Gummy. The oldest spider monkey in the world lived for 61 years at Fort Rickey Discovery Zoo in Rome, New York, almost twice as long as most spider monkeys. Gummy passed away peacefully in her sleep about a month ago.
Sassy Sad & Lonely
Since her grandmother Gummy's death, Sassy has been sad and lonely. And finding her a new companion isn't easy.
The black-headed spider monkey is rare, critically endangered, and not many zoos house them anymore. Finding another spider monkey companion for Sassy is proving to be very difficult and comes with a high level of risk.
Wild Bunnies Hop In
Chris and Rebecca Stedman, owners of the Discovery Zoo, noticed a couple of wild baby bunnies that accidentally wandered into Sassy's enclosure.
She was fascinated by them. She had no interest in harming them and seemed very content with having them there.
That's when the Stedmans got the idea to try introducing her to Clifford, their big red friendly Flemish giant rabbit.
The introduction went well and now the two eat together and play with enrichment toys together. They even drink water from the same dish together.
We went very slowly with the introduction and spent hours observing their interactions. Clifford has a safe space he can call his own within the enclosure, but he really enjoys sharing life with Sassy.
Clifford to the Rescue
The Stedmans are continuing to look for another spider monkey companion but they say Clifford is doing a great job for now.
You won't see them cuddle or anything like that, but Sassy definitely has been enjoying Clifford's company.
See Sassy, Clifford, and all the other animals at Fort Rickey in Rome. Get more details on the Discovery Zoo at fortrickey.com.