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Animals & Attractions

White-faced Saki

We have a small group of saki monkeys made up of one female and two males. In January 2016 our female saki gave birth to a single infant, this is yet to be sexed by the keepers.

Location in the Zoo:

Our saki monkey family can be found in the walkthrough exhibit near the flamingos

Breeding Programme Category:

Our saki monkeys are part of the European Endangered Species programme.

Find out more


  • DD
  • lc
  • nt
  • VU
  • EN
  • CR
  • EW
for more information on classifications visit


Relative to 6ft (2m) man Relative to 6ft (2m) man


Population is unknown, IUCN June 2008


  • Rainforests



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In The Wild

White-faced saki monkeys (Pithecia pithecia) are given that name because the males have a white ring around their faces, although the females do not. Both males and females are a grizzled brown colour with slight white streaks on the side of the nose. They are found in the rainforest of the Amazon Basin, and live in evergreen, coastal, secondary, and gallery forests. They are rarely found in flooded forest. White-faced saki monkeys spend most of the time in the trees, rarely going down to the ground, but they have occasionally been found on the ground or on new-growth trees.

White-faced sakis use the lower levels of the trees because of the competition with food with bearded sakis. White-faced saki monkeys have long fingers and long nails, which make gripping branches and moving around in the trees easier. They prefer to move around in the trees on solid branches in the lower to middle-canopy levels.

Their wild diet is made up of fruit, seeds and flowers. It also occasionally includes animal prey, such as small birds and bats.

White-faced saki monkeys have special canine teeth, which enable them to crack large nuts that other monkeys would leave alone. They also eat termite nests, which are high in iron. When sakis need to drink, they will go to a hollow or hole in the tree where water has gathered and put their hands in, then lick the water droplets off the hand.

White-faced saki monkeys have an aggressive display. This can start off with a growl, then they will start shaking their body with an arched body posture and a growl. If that doesn’t work, then they start to shake branches using their whole body.

White Faced Saki Monkey - Main Panel
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