Colobus Monkey

London Zoo Welcomed New Colobus to Troop

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ZSL London Zoo recently welcomed a new arrival to its troop of Eastern Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys…a tiny baby named Mandible.

After a six-month gestation period, she was born to mum Sophia on February 2. Mandible was given her unique moniker by zookeepers to fit with the tradition of naming the Colobus family after bones in the body, which includes Mandible’s siblings Anvil and Maxilla.

Bernie Corbett, zookeeper at ZSL London Zoo, said: “Colobus Monkeys are born pure white, and they stay this way until they are around five-months-old when they begin to develop their adult colouring: a glossy black coat with a fringe of long white hairs and a large white tuft at the end of the tail.”

“The new-born Colobus Monkey will cling onto her mum as she swings from tree to tree, leaping metres into the air. Mandible is starting to test out her jumping skills and mimicking mum as she learns new actions and movements.”

“Contrary to what many people believe, not all monkeys eat bananas. This species (Colobus guereza) are leaf eaters; they enjoy a range of leaves, flowers and twigs. A particular favourite of the ZSL London Zoo family are the twigs from an apple tree.”

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4_ZSL London Zoo - Baby Colobus Monkey Mandible (1)Photo Credits: ZSL London Zoo

The Eastern Black-and-white Colobus is native to much of west central and east Africa, including Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Chad.

The species is currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. Although the population is somewhat stable, threats exist in the wild. According to the IUCN: “This species is threatened in parts of its range by habitat loss through deforestation for timber, conversion to exotic forest plantations and conversion to agricultural land (e.g., von Hippel et al. 2000). Hunting may also be severely impacting populations in the western part of the species range; Mwenja (2007) commented, in passing, that this subspecies is killed for its skins by local pastoralists in and around the Matthews Range Forest Reserve.”

The family of Colobus Monkeys, at ZSL London Zoo, is the largest troop in Europe and second largest in the world (according to international zoo database, ZIMS).

The zoo’s troop of 17 will be moving house, in the summer of 2018, to a newly renovated enclosure. Their new home, the iconic Snowdon Aviary, will be transformed into a walk-through exhibit for the stunning primates.

For more information or to visit Mandible and the other 18,000 incredible residents at ZSL London Zoo (and save 10% on ticket prices*), simply book online now at: www.zsl.org  

*Children under three-years-old can visit for free.


Cincinnati Zoo’s ‘Baby New Year’ Is Announced

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The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s first baby of 2017 is a Guereza Colobus. The little snow-white baby was born two weeks ago to first time mom, Adanna, and dad, Tiberius. Keepers report the infant is strong, alert and nursing. Once the sex is determined, a name will be given.

The species is a type of monkey once thought to be abnormal because it has no thumb, only a stub where the digit would usually be.

“Tiberius was born here and lived most of his 21 years in a bachelor group that included his father and brothers. Caring for this all-male group was best for the North American Colobus population, but also meant taking a multi-year break from breeding,” said Ron Evans, Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of primates. “With the Cincinnati line out of the breeding population for all those years, Tiberius became one of the most eligible bachelors in the population after he outlived his siblings,”

Four-year-old Adanna arrived at Cincinnati Zoo in 2015, along with another young female, on a breeding recommendation from the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a body that manages populations in Zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

“Their [the two females] playful nature rubbed off and we saw lots of lighthearted play behavior between the three of them,” said Evans. “Tiberius is in his senior years, so it’s significant that his genes are now represented in the North American Zoo population.”

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Lincoln Park Zoo Celebrates ‘White Christmas’

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It was a “White Christmas” at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. A Black-and-white Colobus Monkey was born December 25, and the snowy-white infant is now on exhibit at the zoo’s Helen Brach Primate House.

The Colobus baby not only joins its 12-year-old mother Kutaka (koo-tah-kah) and 23-year-old father Keanjaha (key-an-ja-ha), it also shares home with 15-month-old female infant Nairobi and two other adult females.

The sex and measurements of the newborn are yet to be determined, as the baby is clinging tight to mom and a health check isn’t possible just yet.

The zoo’s Colobus infant is a part of the Black-and-White Colobus Species Survival Plan ® (SSP), which cooperatively manages the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited-zoo population.

The baby is the second successful offspring for this breeding pair. Lincoln Park Zoo’s Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology carefully monitored the progesterone levels in Kutaka’s urine samples to estimate a due date window and ensure that the mother and baby were healthy for the entire duration of the expected pregnancy.

“Kutaka is an extremely attentive mother,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “We’re excited for the newest member of the multi-generational Colobus troop to interact with the entire family from juvenile to geriatric members. In fact, we’ve already observed the infant’s aunt and older sister briefly carrying the new infant, a species-typical behavior called alloparenting or ‘aunting behavior.’”

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One of five species of Colobus Monkeys, the Black-and-white Colobus is an arboreal species native to equatorial Africa.

Lincoln Park Zoo Animal Keeper, Jade Price, recently traveled to Diani Beach, Kenya with Colobus Conservation Limited to participate in conservation efforts focused on the nationally threatened Angolan Colobus Monkey.

At birth, Colobus Monkeys have white hair and pink skin in stark contrast to the black-and-white adults. Around 3-weeks-old, the face and ears start to darken until the infant is almost completely black-and-white at around 3 to 4 months old.

The Colobus infant and parents, Kutaka and Keanjaha, can all be seen on exhibit daily from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Helen Brach Primate House.

For more information on Lincoln Park Zoo or new arrivals, visit www.lpzoo.org .


Angolan Colobus Baby Is a First for Jacksonville Zoo

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Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens welcomed the birth of an Angolan Colobus monkey on May 27. The infant was the first for mother, Moshi, and sixth for father, Andy.

Although the species was introduced to the Florida facility in 2008, this is the first time an Angolan Colobus has been born at the Zoo.

The female infant is continuing to do great. Keepers have noticed her jumping and climbing, while Mom supervises nearby. Her hair also continues to change, from the all white coloring from birth, to black and white as she grows!

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4_14409639_10154577826298336_7544370695060126542_oPhoto Credits: Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Angolan Colobus monkeys (Colobus angolensis), native to the dense rainforest of the Congo, have a black coat and face with a mantle of long white hair and a white tip on their tails. Colobus newborns, however, are born solid white and the coat gradually turns to adult colors during the first six months of life.

An interesting aspect of Angolan Colobus family dynamics is that females of the group co-mother infants. Moshi is getting help from her older sister, Mkia, who is an experienced mother and often seen holding and grooming the babe.

Moshi and the infant are both doing well and are often observed nursing and napping together. The family is easily visible from the African boardwalk where they are housed across form the lions. They share their habitat with four Ring-tailed Lemurs and one Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur.

In the wild, they feed predominantly on leaf material, supplemented by fruits and seeds. In the Zoo they are fed a scientifically formulated chow supplemented with fresh greens, fruits, forage mix and vegetables. Keepers also provide fresh cut vegetation as part of their daily diet.

The gestation period of the Angolan Colobus ranges from 147 to 178 days, and a single offspring is generally born, though twins are possible. Infants are born strikingly white, and then turn grey and black. By six months of age, they change to the adult coloration of black and white. They are born throughout the year, but a birth peak is seen in September and October.

Of the twelve currently recognized Colobus species, one is near threatened, three vulnerable, three endangered, and two critically endangered. Angolan Colobus are not currently considered endangered and may be fairly abundant in parts of their range. However, they are vulnerable to habitat destruction and have suffered extensively by hunting for bush meat and skins, especially in highly populated areas. Populations are declining fairly rapidly in some areas, such as the Kakamega forest in Kenya.

The Angolan Colobus is officially classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Colobus Monkey is ‘Jamming Good’ at Saint Louis Zoo

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A tiny male Eastern Black-and-white Colobus Monkey was born at the Saint Louis Zoo's Primate House on January 10. The little one was given the name Ziggy as a nod to rock star David Bowie who passed away on the day the infant was born.

Colobus infants are born with all white hair and a pink face. In contrast, adults are primarily black, with white hair encircling their faces and half of their tails. Adults have a distinctive mantle of long white hair extending from their shoulders around the edge of their backs. Infants will change gradually until they reach adult coloration at about 6 months.

Baby_colobus_monkey_with_big_sister_1-17-16_credit_Ethan_Riepl_Saint_Louis_Zoo_1542032_webPhoto Credits: Saint Louis Zoo Primate Keeper Ethan Riepl

 

Mom Cecelia (age 16) is the dominant female in the group, and she is an experienced mother who is taking great care of her newborn and 1-year-old Simon. Her 3-year-old daughter Kivuli is an eager "babysitter." Also in the family is 28-year-old matriarch Roberta, mother to 3-1/2-year-old daughter Pili, and 2-year-old daughter Binti. Nine-year-old father Kima watches proudly over the family.

"Everyone in the Colobus Monkey family has a role in caring for newborns," says Joe Knobbe, Zoological Manager of Primates at the Saint Louis Zoo. "Cecelia allows the young females some time with the infant, holding or even carrying him. They are learning important skills that will help them become great mothers, too, someday."

The family can be seen at the Zoo’s Primate House. Visitors can see the infant poking his head out to look at his new world.

The Eastern Black-and-white Colobus Monkey (Colobus guereza) is found throughout the forests of east and central Africa.

Colobus Monkeys grow to a max weight of about 15-30 pounds and a length of about 30 inches. They are strictly leaf-eaters and spend most of their time in treetops. They live in troops of about five to ten with a single dominant male and several females with young.

Gestation for the Colobus is about six months. There is no distinct breeding season, and females will typically give birth every 20 months. The entire troop may play a part in caring for the newborn. He will cling to the mother, or others allowed to care for him, for the first seven months of life. After that time, he will begin to play more with other juveniles.

The Colobus Monkey is currently classified as “Least Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. At one time the monkey was hunted for its beautiful fur for use in making dance costumes, capes, and hats. Today, their biggest threat is habitat encroachment by humans for the development of agriculture, housing and roads.

The birth at the Saint Louis Zoo is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Colobus Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program created to manage a genetically healthy population of Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys in North American zoos.


Black and White and Loved All Over

Colobus-monkey112832_Jan-2015_Ethan-Riepl-Saint-Louis-Zoo_webA male black and white Colobus Monkey named ‘Simon’ was born at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Primate House on December 30, 2014.

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Colobus-monkey115558_Jan-2015_Ethan-Riepl-Saint-Louis-Zoo_webPhoto Credits: Ethan Riepl / Saint Louis Zoo

Colobus infants are born with all white hair and a pink face. In contrast, adults are primarily black, with white hair encircling their faces and half of their tails. They have a distinctive mantle of long white hair extending from their shoulders around the edge of their backs. Infants will change gradually until they reach adult coloration at about 6 months.

‘Cecelia’, age 16, is an experienced mother who is taking great care of her newborn and 2-year-old daughter ‘Kivuli’. Also in the family is 27-year-old matriarch, ‘Roberta’, mother to 2-1/2-year-old daughter ‘Pili’ and 1-year-old daughter ‘Binti’. Nine-year-old father, ‘Kima’, watches proudly over the family.

“A new infant is always the focus of so much excitement and attention for the family,” says Joe Knobbe, Zoological Manager of Primates at the Saint Louis Zoo. “It’s important for everyone to have a role in the care of the newborn. Older sister Kivuli has taken particular interest in her new baby brother and is often seen holding or even carrying him. She’s learning important skills that will help her become a great mother, too, someday.”

The family can be seen at the Primate House. Visitors can see the infant poking his head out to look at his new world.

The Colobus Monkey, a threatened species, is found throughout the forests of east and central Africa. The birth is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Colobus Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to manage a genetically healthy population of black and white Colobus Monkeys in North American zoos.


A Little White Shadow Arrives at the St. Louis Zoo

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A black-and-white Colobus (CAHL-uh-bus) Monkey was born at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Primate House on October 31-- Halloween! Her name is Kivuli (pronounced Kih-VOO-lee), which, fittingly for her birthdate, is Swahili for ghost or shadow.

Colobus infants are born with all white hair and a pink face. In contrast, adults are primarily black, with white hair encircling their face and half of their tail. They have a distinctive mantle of long white hair extending from their shoulders around the edge of their back. Infants will change color gradually until they reach adult coloration at about 6 months. Colobus Monkeys are found throughout the forests of east and central Africa. The birth is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Colobus Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to manage a genetically healthy population of black and white colobus monkeys in North American zoos.

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Mom Cecelia, age 13, is raising her first baby under the watchful eye of the group’s matriarch, Roberta, age 25, who has two offspring of her own — 1-1/2-year-old male, Mosi, and 5-month-old female, Pili. The family of six, including dad Kima, age 6, is now on view at the Primate House. Visitors can see the infant poking its little white head out to look at its new world. 

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Photo Credit: Ray Meibaum Saint Louis Zoo


Newborn Colobus Monkey Snuggles Close to Mom

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The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby Black and White Colobus Monkey, the first to be born in 12 years at the zoo.  The female baby was born on September 25.

The infant, named Kaasidy, and her mother, Jibini, went outdoors into their exhibit for the first time late last week.  Colobus babies are covered in white fur.  At 2-3 months of age, they develop the deep black coat, shaggy white mantle, and tufted white tail typical of adult Colobus Monkeys. 

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Jibini is a first-time mother, so zoo keepers have been watching carefully to make certain she is caring for her baby.  For now, Kaasidy clings to her mother’s belly, though in a few weeks she’ll begin to climb about. 

Colobus Monkeys are native to Africa’s equatorial forests, where they spend nearly all of their time in trees feeding on fruits, leaves, and other vegetation.  Some populations are threatened due to habitat loss and hunting for their dramatic black-and-white coat.  To maintain a genetically healthy zoo population of Colobus Monkeys, they are cooperatively managed by the Species Survival Plan (SSP) program of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). 

Photo Credit:  Fort Wayne Children's Zoo


What's Black and White But White All Over? Maryland Zoo's Baby Colobus Monkey

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The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced the birth of black-and-white Colobus Monkey, born on exhibit on April 21. This is the first baby for parents, Keri, age 14, and Bisi, age 19. The infant, whose gender is not yet known, is covered in white fur, and is a little hard to see as it clings tightly to its mother's belly. The staff are monitoring things very closely, and have seen the baby nurse. When appropriate they will do the first veterinary check.

“We have been hoping that this pair would breed successfully, however they are secretive breeders and we were not certain she was pregnant,” stated Mike McClure, general curator. “We were very happy to see this new offspring arrive this morning. We want the mother and baby to be as comfortable as possible, so we are not attempting to bring them off exhibit to check on the infant at this time."

The species is considered in decline as they are threatened by loss of forest habitat across equatorial Africa, and are also hunted for their meat and fur. This birth is the result of a recommendation from the Colobus Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs provide breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity and appropriate social groupings, with the goal of ensuring the long-term survival of the captive population and the health of individual animals. 

Photo Credit: Maryland Zoo

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Newborn Colobus Infant Captures Keepers Hearts

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Keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park are in love with a week old baby Colobus Monkey – the latest addition to one of the black and white Colobus groups at the park. At this young age keepers are unable to tell whether it is male or female. Since Colobus are a social group, all the females in the troup, not just mom, will take responsibility for the little one's care, keeping it warmed, protected and nourished for at least the first few months of it's life. 

Adult black and white Colobus monkeys have striking black pelts with a white mantel and a long white tip to their tail. The young are born entirely white and their coloring will appear gradually as they mature. Their dramatic black and white pelts are still highly prized and hunting. That, along with deforestation across their natural habitat of equatorial Africa, has resulted in a decline of numbers.

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Photo Credit: Port Lympne/Aspinall Foundation

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