Brown capuchin

Latin name Cebus apella
Class Mammals
Order Primates
Family Cebidae
IUCN Status Least concern (CITES Appendix II)
Habitat Tropical rainforests and mangroves
Distribution South America

General Information

Brown capuchins or tufted capuchins are intelligent, inquisitive monkeys that live in large groups in the wild. They are famous for using tools such as sticks to obtain food. They are active during the day and although they spend most of their time in trees, they do forage on the forest floor. They are omnivores eating a variety of fruit, vegetables, leaves, flowers, seeds, eggs, small mammals, insects and invertebrates. They also have a semi-prehensile tail that they use as an extra limb.

Threats: Habitat destruction, pet trade

Lifespan: 45 years in captivity

Fun Fact

Capuchins love chillies – not for the taste though, they rub them all over themselves as an insect repellent!

Keeper Notes

Our three brown Capuchins all brothers. Medellin is by far the most intelligent, always figuring out puzzles and challenges in the quickest time! He is the leader of our group. Next is Carlos, who used to be shy and reserved but has recently grown to be a rather mischievous character, showing off to his brothers and his keepers. Our oldest Capuchin is Diablo, he is lowest down in the group hierarchy and this suits his more timid personality. Watching our Capuchins is the best way to learn just how intelligent and inquisitive they are. One of their favorite activities is chili washing- our keepers provide very hot chilies and the three boys will rub the juices all over their fur to protect them from parasites!