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‘The Zoo’: Meet the squirrel monkeys of the Bronx Zoo

Mama monkey Abbey, who carries a baby on her back, isn’t so sure about changing habitats.

Meet the squirrel monkeys of the Children's Zoo at the Bronx Zoo, in an exclusive sneak peek of the May 5 episode of Animal Planet's "The Zoo." Staffers try their best to coax the squirrel monkeys into crates so they can move them from an outdoor enclosure into a warmer space for the fall and winter. (Credit: Animal Planet)

Corralling spunky squirrel monkeys is no easy task.

In this exclusive clip from Saturday’s upcoming episode of Animal Planet’s “The Zoo,” keepers at the Bronx Zoo try to move some of the monkeys from an outdoor enclosure to their toasty winter digs.

“They are not meant for this cold weather, but it’s not like we can just explain to them, ‘We are going into winter holding. It’s a great place. There are toys! Your friends are there!’” Melanie Lumba, a keeper at the Children’s Zoo, says in the episode.

The task proves especially challenging for one reluctant mama monkey named Abbey, who carries a little baby on her back.

The popular reality show provides a behind-the-scenes look at how Wildlife Conservation Society staff at the Bronx Zoo care for the wide variety of animals that live on the sprawling 265-acre site.

During it’s second season, which kicked off March 10, the show has featured heartwarming tales about a baby snow leopard that needed physical therapy, a kangaroo named Dave who received cryotherapy for his arthritis and efforts to mate a pair of Komodo dragons.

But there’s heartbreak as well, as veterinarians and staff are forced to make tough decisions about critically ill animals.

Lisa Lucas, executive producer of “The Zoo,” said the show has resonated with viewers — many of whom have traveled to the Bronx park in search of the animals and staff highlighted on various episodes.

“It’s hard work. It’s not an easy job and I think people now understand that,” Lucas told amNewYork in March. “There is a real appreciation of what they do.”

The Zoo airs at 9 p.m. Saturdays on Animal Planet.


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