Twycross home to one of the oldest spider monkeys in Europe

Spider monkeys are New World Monkeys, meaning they come from South America. Credit: Twycross Zoo

A critically endangered variegated spider monkey, named ‘Lady Lulu’ by her keepers, is one of the oldest of its kind in captivity in Europe, and holds the crown for being the oldest in the UK.

Lady Lulu is 39-years old, and considered in very good health for her age.

Variegated spider monkeys are known to live until 27-years of age in the wild and up to 40-years of age in captivity.

Spider monkeys mostly eat in the morning. Their diet is made up from fruit, nuts, seeds and flowers. Credit: Twycross Zoo

Variegated spider monkeys are classified critically endangered in the wild on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Redlist of Threatened Species, and in 2012 they were listed as one of the worlds 25 most endangered primates.

The wild population has declined by 80 per cent over the past four decades due to habitat loss from human encroachment and hunting.

Spider monkeys get their names from their very long arms and legs and the fact that they use their tails to hang upside down.