SANFORD, Fla. — Officials with the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens have adopted three orphaned spider monkeys that smugglers attempted to bring into the country.
The three infant primates were discovered at the U.S./Mexico border and confiscated by wildlife officials. They were brought to the Central Florida Zoo through a partnership with the U.S. government and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The monkeys were named Sunny, Violet, and Klaus, after characters from the book saga "A Series of Unfortunate Events."
Zoo leaders say that in order to obtain the infant monkeys, smugglers will kill the entire troop, or family.
It is believed each of the three monkeys came from separate troops.
Zoo CEO Richard E. Glover, Jr. says the zoo is thrilled to provide them with a new home, despite their bad start in life.
"They will make a difference for their species and many others by helping educate the public about the importance of ending wildlife trafficking and the illegal pet trade," Glover said.
Sunny, Violet, and Klaus have been successfully introduced to the Zoo’s 41-year-old black-handed spider monkey, Big Guy, who has been a dad 15 times and who officials say "has strong paternal instincts."