Keepers found that Peter Rabbit the baby monkey was dehydrated and had low blood sugar and a skull fracture, and are helping the animal make a full recovery

By Kelli Bender
April 28, 2020 03:56 PM
Credit: Houston Zoo

A baby male Schmidt’s red–tailed monkey too weak to hold on to his mother is getting a helping hand from his keepers at the Houston Zoo.

According to the Texas zoo, the baby monkey named Peter Rabbit was born on April 10 to mother Njeri. Unfortunately, shortly after Peter Rabbit was born, it became clear that keepers needed to step in and help when the little monkey slipped from his mother’s body and fell to the ground.

In response, the zoo evaluated the mom and baby and found that Peter Rabbit was dehydrated and had low blood sugar. The little monkey was giving subcutaneous fluids and sugar to help him build up strength, but, even after these treatments, he was still too weak to hold on to his mom.

Peter Rabbit is now being hand-reared by keepers at the veterinary clinic. The baby’s caretakers are keeping Njeri close by in hopes that they can reunite mother and son soon, so the animal family can continue to bond.

Along with building up Peter Rabbit’s strength, the zoo is also focused on helping the monkey heal from a small skull fracture that was discovered after taking the baby to a radiologist and a human pediatric neurologist. It is unclear how Petter Rabbit got the skull fracture, but the monkey seems unaffected by the injury and his keepers are optimistic the fracture will heal without issue.

The zoo is working to get Peter Rabbit strong, healed, and healthy so he can hop back in the exhibit with his mom soon.

In the wild, Schmidt’s red–tailed monkeys are decreasing due to hunting and habitat loss, according to the zoo. Animal lovers can help protect these animals by recycling their old cellphones through the zoo. Cellphones and other small electronics often contain coltan, a material mined in the parts of Africa red-tailed monkeys rely on for habitats.