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Squirrel monkey exhibit at Tucson's Reid Park Zoo opens tomorrow

Squirrel monkey exhibit at Tucson's Reid Park Zoo opens tomorrow

The time is almost here, Tucson. 

Reid Park Zoo's newest critters — itty-bitty squirrel monkeys — have made their Tucson debut. On Saturday, the public will be able to gawk at how cute they are.

Did we mention the tiny monkeys only weigh between one and two pounds?

The four monkeys — three female and one male — arrived in Tucson in January and were getting acclimated in the zoo's health center. Zoo officials were also waiting for the monkeys' permanent habitat — appropriately named the Temple of Tiny Monkeys — to be complete. 

The old Jaguar Junction is unused and fenced off in this photo taken in November 2018. It will become the new home for Squirrel Monkeys, which will split time between the inside and a remodeled outdoor space at left.

A former snack bar in the zoo's South America area was transformed into the monkeys' habitat. It has an ancient ruin theme and includes an indoor space with both heating and cooling, a small water feature and an outdoor space with large trees for the monkeys. 

The new exhibit is part of a ballot initiative that increased the city's sales tax by one-tenth of 1 percent for the next 10 years.

And if you're hoping to get to know the monkeys: They're named Sparkle, Glitter, Dazzle and Parker. Parker is the youngest, at two years old. 

"For such tiny animals, they have huge personalities," Animal Care Supervisor Alex Zelazo-Kessler said in a news release from the zoo. "They're super active and it is fun to watch their antics and how they interact with each other, as well as their environment and their enrichment."

Contact reporter Gloria Knott at gknott@tucson.com or 573-4235. On Twitter: @gloriaeknott

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