New Exhibits


Spider Monkey Exhibit Set to Open March 23 at 11am

Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the opening of a new spider monkey exhibit, graciously funded by Dottie Frist, on Thursday, March 23. The addition of Mexican spider monkeys will mark the first monkey species to be housed at Nashville Zoo in more than four years.

Exhibit details

To enter the new exhibit, Zoo guests will cross an elevated wooden bridge ending in a treetop view of these lively, inquisitive Mexican spider monkeys swinging among the trees. Half siblings, Sandy and Poppy, came to Nashville from Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, FL. The Zoo plans to add two more females to the group in the near future. A covered viewing building will feature materials from around the world including Peruvian textiles and decorative masks hand-selected by Schwartz. Bamboo imported from Vietnam and Colombia and environmentally sustainable materials like reclaimed pallet wood and synthetic thatch will complement the exhibit’s Central American theme.

Species information

Mexican spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus) are critically endangered in Central America’s rainforest due to habitat loss and destruction. Nashville Zoo will participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for this species to increase the captive population.

Spider monkeys are adapted for an arboreal lifestyle swinging through the trees with a hand over hand motion called semi-brachiation. Their long prehensile tail can support their entire weight and is often used as a third arm for movement. Spider monkeys lack visible thumbs which allows for greater ease while moving through the branches.

Aerial rendering of the spider monkey exhibit shows the viewing building, holding area, entry/exit bridges, and outdoor habitat.
Recent construction photos from early February 2017.