VIDEO: Hey! Quit monkeying around and check this out
QUEENSLAND Zoo at the Big Pineapple will be the scene of plenty of monkeying around these school holidays.
The common marmoset monkeys have made the move from the zoo's old premises and are now happily settled in their new enclosure.
Primate keeper Emma Morgan said the seven monkeys had reason to be happy.
The family - Pedro and Carla, and their five children of varying ages - have upsized into a pad twice the size of their old Alma Park digs.
The marmosets, also known as white ear tuft monkeys, are among the most popular of the zoo's exhibits.
"I see people spend more time in front of the marmosets because they're so active and fun," Miss Morgan said.
Weighing only 300g as adults, the marmosets might be small but what they lack in size, they make up for in energy and personality.
They scurry and leap about from branch to branch and, if they get the chance, person to person.
And, as Daily photographer Brett Wortman discovered when he was trying to take photos with monkeys perched on his lense, they love cameras.
Miss Morgan said a major part of her job was organising enrichment activities to occupy the zoo's primates, particularly the marmosets.
Food parcels, rope swings, fresh branches, introduced scents are among the tricks zoo staff use to make life interesting for them.
"Because they're so smart, they need to be stimulated constantly," Miss Morgan said.
"Trying to make it exciting for them is our biggest job."
But she warned that although visitors often fell in love with the marmosets, one of the little monkeys would not make a good pet.
"To have one as a pet is considered inhumane. They live in big family groups.
"One on its own would get sad and get stressed.
"And they need so much stimulation."
The zoo owns more than 20 marmosets but many are on loan to other zoos for breeding.
Visitors will be able to get up close to the cheeky monkeys in future when the zoo introduces a marmoset visitor experience.