Santa Barbara Zoo Welcomes Two Goeldi’s Monkeys

By the Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo has welcomed two Goeldi’s monkeys, George Michael (3), and Jimi (2), who are brothers and have come to Santa Barbara from Buttonwood Park Zoo, in New Bedford, MA. The zookeepers are enjoying getting to know the two new monkeys, and are helping them comfortably adjust to their new home. 

“The Santa Barbara Zoo has had Goeldi’s monkeys in our animal population previously, but it was years ago, so for many of our keepers who were not around then, it’s exciting for them to work with a new primate species,” shared Dr. Julie Barnes, Vice President of Animal Care & Health of the Santa Barbara Zoo. “While these monkeys are very small, they have really big personalities and are very active and inquisitive!”

Guests can now visit George Michael and Jimi who joined the White-face saki monkeys in their habitat. 

Goeldi’s monkeys are small primates with shaggy black hair, claw-like nails, and long tails. They can be found in areas of the Amazon rainforest across southern Colombia, eastern Ecuador and Peru, western Brazil and northern Bolivia. The average height of a Goeldi’s monkey is approximately 8-9 inches, not including its tail, which can measure up to 12 inches long. Goeldi’s monkeys are capable of leaping approximately 13 feet between branches. They leap from one tree to another, traveling roughly one mile per day. Their diet includes fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, insects like super worms, mealworms, crickets, and leafy greens.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Goeldi’s monkeys as vulnerable. Potential for habitat loss is considered their primary threat; the most recent assessment found that their region was stable but expected to rapidly decline due to proposed plans for human development and logging. This anticipated loss of habitat, combined with the species’ already fragmented populations, has resulted in their vulnerable classification. 

About the Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. for members and 9:30 a.m. for general admission until 5 p.m.; general admission is $25 for adults, $15 for children 2-12, and free for children under 2. Parking is $11. The Santa Barbara Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA zoos are dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great visitor experience, and a better future for all living things. With more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and is the public’s link to helping animals in their native habitats. Visit


Written by sbzoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo is dedicated to the preservation, conservation, and enhancement of the natural world and its living treasures through education, research, and recreation. Learn more at

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