Monkey

Baby Mandrills Are Los Angeles Zoo's First in 40 Years

LA Zoo Female Mandrill Newborn Photo by Jamie Pham

The Los Angeles Zoo is thrilled to welcome two Mandrill babies to the troop.  Mandrills are the largest of all Monkey species and one of the most colorful. The female baby was born on August 3, 2017 to five-year-old mother, Juliette. The male baby was born on August 17, 2017 to four-year-old mother, Clementine.

22096276_10159382997560273_4937201314791288531_oPhoto Credit:  Jamie Pham

 

The first-time mothers came to the L.A. Zoo from Parc Zoologique de La Palmyre in France in April 2016 to be paired with the first-time father, six-year-old Jabari, as part of a Species Survival Program (SSP) to strengthen the gene pool of this Vulnerable species.

“This is a very new breeding group of Mandrills that has only been together for about a year, so we’re incredibly happy with how well things are going so far,” said L’Oreal Dunn, animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. “This species comes from a small area in Africa that isn’t accessible to most people, so it’s very special that our guests can now observe babies here for the first time in over 40 years.”

The half-siblings can be seen clinging tightly to their mothers, playing together, and testing their boundaries. They are learning to navigate their new habitat, a rainforest-like environment that supplies the group with plenty of trees, logs, and plant life to explore during the day and aerial lofts and ledges where they sleep at night.

The babies were born without the signature red and blue stripes on their faces that people often associate with the unique looking primate. Only their father, who is the dominant male in the group, has the vibrant coloring on his elongated muzzle.  The red-and-blue-striped skin on a Mandrill’s face is a sign to females that a male is ready to mate. While female Mandrills can have colorful hues on their face as well, the markings tend to be paler in comparison.

Mandrills may look like Baboons, but DNA studies have shown that they are more closely related to Mangabeys. These Monkeys have extremely long canine teeth that can be used for self-defense, though baring them is typically a friendly gesture among Mandrills.

Wild Mandrills live in the remaining rainforests of western Africa in Cameroon, Gabon, and southwestern Congo. Populations are under threat and declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation caused by the spread of agriculture and human settlement, so the species is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Mandrills are often hunted for food as many Africans consider them to be a delicacy.

 


Langur Babies Debut at Los Angeles Zoo

Francois Langur Baby Photo 1 of 5 by Jamie Pham

The Los Angeles Zoo welcomed two bright orange male François’ Langur babies this summer. The first born was on June 23 to eight-year-old mother Vicki Vale and the second on July 12 to five-year-old mother Kim-Ly. The infants recently joined their mothers and 19-year-old father Paak in the outdoor habitat, a dense forest filled with tall trees and plenty of branches for climbing and swinging. The babies will eventually be introduced to the rest of the family on exhibit, 26-year-old female Mei-Chi and two-year-old Tao.

Francois Langur Baby Photo 2 of 5 by Jamie Pham
Francois Langur Mom and Baby Photo 3 of 5 by Jamie PhamPhoto Credit: Jamie Pham

“We’re very excited for guests to be able to observe this blended family in their new group dynamic,” said Roxane Losey, Animal Keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. “Once the two boys are a little older, they will join their brother Tao and things will probably get a little rough and tumble when they play. These Monkeys are very acrobatic and like to jump and leap from branch to branch.”

The Monkey babies have a long tail, striking eyes, and orange and black fur that will fade to full black over time. François’ Langur infants nurse for close to a year, so they can often be seen in the arms of their mothers. This sometimes proves difficult for mother Vicki Vale who suffered a past injury that left her with limited mobility on her left side. Vicki Vale’s baby has adapted to the unique situation by sometimes hoisting himself onto his mother’s back to leave her hands free when navigating the branches in the habitat. This is not a trait you would find in the wild, as it leaves the baby open to capture by predators or being knocked down by tree branches. 

The babies will also spend time with the other adult female members of the group through a practice called alloparenting. This trait lets young females  gain experience caring for infants and builds bonds within the troop. It also gives mom a break! Sometimes, though, the animals disagree over how to raise the babies or how they interact with each other.

“The whole family will have minor squabbles from time to time, but you will actually see them come to each other and make up, sometimes with a hug,” said Losey. “You won’t see a lot of Monkeys with this hugging behavior, but Francois’ Langurs are a very gentle species.”

Native to southern China and northeastern Vietnam, François’ Langurs feed on shoots, fruits, flowers, and bark collected in the treetops or on the forest floor. François’ Langurs are listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List due to deforestation and illegal capture for use in traditional Asian medicines sold on the black market.

See more photos of the baby Langurs below.

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Monkeys and Keepers Team Up to Care for Endangered Baby

BabyLangur_001_Med-860x450Animal care staff at the San Diego Zoo are getting some unique helpers as they assist an endangered 7-week-old François’ Langur Monkey: The entire Langur troop pitches in to socialize the baby, while keepers make sure he gets enough food and care.

After the baby, named Chi, was born in February to mother Mei Li, keepers noticed that she rejected her baby and failed to nurse him.  The staff hoped that other members of this troop might decide to raise the baby, because Langurs practice alloparetning, where all members of the group participate in rearing young – but the other Langurs also rejected the infant. 

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Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.30.08 AMPhoto Credit: San Diego Zoo

“Infants need to nurse every few hours in order to stay healthy,” said Mindy Settles, primate keeper at the San Diego Zoo, adding that keepers intervened right away to feed the baby before his condition deteriorated. “Every day, we did introductions trying to pair him back with mom; and it wasn’t actually until he was over a week old—almost a week and a half old—that mom picked him up and actually held him for the first time.”

Rather than remove Chi from the troop and hand-rear the baby in the nursery away from his family, keepers decided to use assisted-rearing techniques. Because the animal care staff has established a bond of trust with the Langurs, the troop allows keepers to remove Chi for feedings, then accepts him when he returns to the troop. This allows Chi to develop normal social behaviors and understand that he is a Monkey, not a human, and hopefully breed one day with a female.

“I can’t stress enough how amazing this opportunity is for us,” said Jill Andrews, animal care manager for primates at the San Diego Zoo. “The amount of cooperation between the Monkeys and the keepers for the care of this 7-week-old infant is, frankly, astonishing. He is way ahead of the curve.”

Francois’ langurs are a species of Old World Monkey native to Asia—ranging from southwestern China to northeastern Vietnam. The species is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, due to a 50 percent decline in their population over the past 30 years. Hunting to supply body parts for traditional folk medicines is a primary reason for their diminished numbers. Habitat loss and fragmentation due to agricultural development has also had a negative effect on the population.


Rare Macaque Born at Chester Zoo

Baby Sulawesi macaque Amidala born to mum Lisa at Chester Zoo (5)
Zoo keepers at Chester Zoo have just released the first photos of a rare baby Sulawesi Crested Macaque born in January.

The tiny female baby, which keepers have named Amidala, is a welcome boost to the European endangered species breeding program that is working to protect Sulawesi's Macaques.  The species is listed as Critically Endangered, with fewer than 5,000 individuals remaining in the wild.

Baby Sulawesi macaque Amidala born to mum Lisa at Chester Zoo (2)
Baby Sulawesi macaque Amidala born to mum Lisa at Chester Zoo (9)Photo Credit:  Chester Zoo

Sulawesi Crested Macaques are the rarest of the seven Macaque species living in rain forests on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. 

The illegal wildlife trade and large scale habitat loss due to illegal logging has pushed the Sulawesi Crested Macaque to the edge of extinction. They are also targets for poachers and are over-hunted for food. The species’ wild number is believed to have plummeted by around 80% in the last 30 years.

With Amidala’s arrival, there are now 18 Sulawesi Crested Macaques living at Chester Zoo. Amidala was born to parents Lisa and Mamassa.

Conservationists from Chester Zoo works with communities in Sulawesi to help protect forests and the diverse animal species living in them.

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Meet Taronga Zoo’s Tiny Troop of Monkey Babies

1_Squirrel Monkeys 13_Photo by Paul Fahy

Taronga Zoo recently welcomed four tiny Squirrel Monkey babies to its vibrant group.

Visitors to the Zoo’s new "Squirrel Monkey Jungle Walk" exhibit may spot the new arrivals clinging to their mothers’ backs, like tiny backpacks, as they leap and scurry from branch to branch.

The infants are all under three-months-old. The eldest was born just before Christmas on December 20, and the youngest was born on January 10.

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3_Squirrel Monkeys 11_Photo by Paul Fahy

4_Squirrel Monkeys 12_Photo by Paul FahyPhoto Credits: Taronga Zoo /Paul Fahy

Primate keeper, Janet Lackey, said, “It’s a very exciting time for the family group of 17 Squirrel Monkeys. We are starting to see the older babies venturing off mum’s back and exploring the trees and ropes, and being very playful together. The youngest baby is still clinging tightly to mum as there is quite a big developmental difference between four and six weeks of age.”

“We do have a first time mum in the group, little four-year-old Yamma, and she is doing so impressively well. We are really proud of her,” said Janet.

Keepers are yet to name or determine the sexes of the babies, who are receiving lots of attention from the other adults in Taronga’s Squirrel Monkey group.

“We have noticed some of the aunties in the family group have started sharing the responsibility of looking after the babies. It’s wonderful to see some of our more experienced mums, who haven’t had a baby this season, sharing their mothering skills. It’s also lovely to see some of the younger aunties practicing their mothering skills and the whole community working together to bring up the babies,” said Janet.

Taronga is part of the regional breeding program for Bolivian Squirrel Monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis). Squirrel Monkeys are native to Central and South America and, while not endangered, they are still at risk from habitat loss and the illegal pet trade.

More adorable pics below the fold!

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Twin Monkeys Could Help With Mid-week Blues

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These adorable twin Capuchin Monkeys are almost guaranteed to make you smile, and could, quite possibly, help you make it through the mid-week blues.

As evidenced by this great series of photos, their tiny, expressive faces also make them excellent practice for any photographer.

The rare twins were born at Zoo Berlin, and excited keepers say they are “developing magnificently”.

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4_14855985_10154549200052557_3415065592180417754_oPhoto Credits: Zoo Berlin

The Capuchin Monkey is considered a “New World monkey” of the subfamily Cebinae. They are readily identified as the "organ-grinder" monkey, and have been used in several movies and television shows.

The native range of Capuchin Monkeys includes Central America and South America, as far south as northern Argentina. In Central America, they prefer to occupy wet lowland forests, notably on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Panama, and deciduous dry forest on the Pacific coast.

Capuchins are known to be black, brown, buff or whitish, but their exact color depends on the species. They generally reach a max length of 30 to 56 cm (12 to 22 in), with tails that are just as long as the body.

Capuchins are diurnal and arboreal. They spend the majority of their day searching for food, with the exception of a midday nap.

They are omnivores and feed on a vast range of food types, including: plant parts (such as leaves, flower and fruit), seeds, pith, woody tissue, sugarcane, bulb, and exudates, as well as arthropods, mollusks, a variety of vertebrates, and even primates.

Capuchin Monkeys often live in large groups of 10 to 35 individuals within the forest, although they can easily adapt to places colonized by humans. Usually, a single male will dominate the group and have primary rights to mate with the females of their group. They are territorial and distinctly mark their territory with urine. Group dynamics are maintained and served through mutual grooming, and communication occurs through various calls.

Females typically produce offspring every two years, following a 160- to 180-day gestation. The newborns cling to their mother's chest and continue to do so until they are larger, when they move to her back. Adult male capuchins rarely take part in caring for the young. Juveniles are considered fully mature within four years for females and eight years for males. In captivity, individuals have been known to reach an age of 45 years, although life expectancy in the wild is only 15 to 25 years.

More adorable pics, below the fold!

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Doubly Adorable Capuchin Monkeys at Münster Zoo

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The Golden-bellied Capuchin is highly threatened with extinction. Münster Zoo houses the largest breeding group in Germany and the second largest in Europe!

On August 6th and 11th, the Zoo welcomed two new infants to their troop. This is an encouraging breeding success because Golden-bellied Capuchin are considered, by some, to be the most intelligent monkeys in South America, and they are currently classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

A mere 194 Golden-bellied Capuchin live in 21 facilities throughout Europe. The Münster Zoo is home to 16 of the monkeys, making it the largest breeding group of Germany. The Zoo’s Capuchin troop is the second largest in Europe, behind La Vallée de Singes in France, which is home to 17 of the monkeys.

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3_NL I_2016_09_Gelbbrustkapuziner nahPhoto Credits: Münster Zoo

The Golden-bellied Capuchin (Sapajus xanthosternos), also known as the Yellow-breasted or Buffy-headed Capuchin, is a species of New World monkey.

Although there are differences between individuals, as well as between the sexes and across age groups, S. xanthosternos is described as having a distinctive yellow to golden red chest, belly and upper arms. Its face is a light brown, and its cap, for which the capuchins were first named, is a dark brown/black or light brown.

Capuchins are diurnal and arboreal. With the exception of a midday nap, they spend their entire day searching for food. At night, they sleep in the trees, wedged between branches.

They feed on a vast range of food types and are more varied than other monkeys in the family Cebidae. They are omnivores, and consume a variety of plant parts such as leaves, flower and fruit, seeds, pith, woody tissue, sugarcane, bulb, and exudates, as well as arthropods, mollusks, a variety of vertebrates, and even primates.

Capuchin monkeys often live in large groups of 10 to 35 individuals within the forest, although they can easily adapt to places colonized by humans. Usually, a single male will dominate the group and have primary rights to mate with the females of their group. The stabilization of group dynamics is served through mutual grooming, and communication occurs between the monkeys through various calls.

Capuchins can jump up to nine feet (3 m), and they use this mode of transport to get from one tree to another. They remain hidden among forest vegetation for most of the day, sleeping on tree branches and descending to the ground to find drinking water.

Females generally bear young every two years, following a 160- to 180-day gestation. The young cling to their mother's chest until they are larger, when they move to her back. Adult male Capuchins rarely take part in caring for the young. Juveniles become fully mature within four years for females and eight years for males. In captivity, individuals have reached an age of 45 years, although natural life expectancy is only 15 to 25 years.

Populations of Golden-bellied Capuchin are restricted to the Atlantic forest of Southeastern Bahia, Brazil, due possibly to high degrees of interference from humans. Historically they probably would have inhabited the entire area east of, and north to, the Rio São Francisco.

The largest continuous area of forest in its known range, the Una Biological Reserve in Bahia, is estimated to contain a population of 185 individuals.

The main reason for the threat to this subspecies is the large-scale destruction of their habitat in eastern Brazil. The local coastal forests were cleared to a great extent and exist only in the form of small remnants. Another danger is the hunting. Within the last 50 years the total population of Golden-bellied Capuchin has gone back more than 80 percent. There are some groups in protected areas, but many of these deposits are too small. Therefore, a breeding program by the Brazilian government, in collaboration with the World of Zoos (WAZA), has been launched.


Endangered Capuchin Born at Zoo de la Palmyre

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A Yellow-breasted Capuchin was born on May 17, at Zoo de la Palmyre, bringing the number living in the Zoo’s Monkey House to a total of ten.

The sex of the young Capuchin is yet unknown. Determining the sex requires being able to observe the infant closely, in the right position, which isn’t easy during the first weeks, as the baby spends a lot of time sleeping with its belly pressed against mother.

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4_MG_0763Photo Credits: F. Perroux/Zoo de la Palmyre

Capuchins are New World monkeys of the subfamily Cebinae. They are readily identified as the "organ-grinder" monkey, and were once very popular in movies and television. The range of Capuchin monkeys includes Central America and South America as far south as northern Argentina. They usually occupy the wet lowland forests on Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Panama and deciduous dry forest on the Pacific coast.

There are 22 different species of Capuchins in the wild. Yellow-breasted Capuchins (Cebus xanthosternos), also known as “Buff-headed Capuchin” or “Golden-bellied Capuchin”, are endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic forest and live in groups from 10 to 30 individuals. Males can exceed 4kg while females are smaller and weigh less than 3.5kg.

Their prehensile tail acts like a fifth limb and allows them to free their hands while foraging. But unlike the tail of Spider and Howler Monkeys, Capuchins cannot hang by their tail excepting young individuals helped by their lower weight.

Although their diet is mostly composed of fruits, Capuchins also consume eggs and small prey, such as lizards, insects, or birds.

The species is severely threatened by habitat loss, as a result of the massive ongoing deforestation throughout its range: about 92% of the original surface of the Brazilian Atlantic forest has already been destroyed. Captures for the illegal pet trade and hunting for food are also serious treats.

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Baby Macaque Gets Lots of Attention

!xxA five-day-old Sulawesi crested macaque clings to first-time mum Camilla at Chester Zoo (4)
A baby Sulawesi Crested Macaque at the Chester Zoo is getting a lot of attention – from the other 15 members of the zoo’s Macaque troop, and from conservationists concerned with protecting this critically endangered species.

Born on May 29, the little Monkey clings to its mother Camilla as other Macaques gather around with intense interest in the baby.  So far, Camilla is proving to be a good mother, even though this baby is her first.

!A five-day-old Sulawesi crested macaque clings to first-time mum Camilla at Chester Zoo (2) 2
A five-day-old Sulawesi crested macaque clings to first-time mum Camilla at Chester Zoo (5)Photo Credit:  Chester Zoo
 
Found only on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, roughly 5,000 Sulawesi Crested Macaques remain in the island’s rain forests.  Despite its threatened status, this species is still hunted regularly as a pest because it destroys crops in search of food.  They are also hunted as bushmeat.  Large-scale destruction of forests has dramatically reduced available habitat for these fruit- and leaf-eating Macaques.

Sulawesi Crested Macaques also live on some smaller, less-populated islands near Sulawesi, where they enjoy less pressure from humans.  Six other macaque species live on Sulawesi, but this species is the most critically endangered.

This new baby is an important addition to European zoos' breeding program to preserve genetic diversity in endangered species. 

See more photos of the baby Macaque below.

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Critically Endangered Macaque Born at Chester Zoo

1_A week-old Sulawesi macaque is nursed by mum Lisa (10)

A rare baby Sulawesi Crested Macaque, a species that’s critically endangered in the wild, is the latest arrival at Chester Zoo.

Keepers recently released the first pictures of the newborn monkey, which is being looked after by its mum Lisa after being born on April 17.

Sulawesi Crested Macaques are one of the world’s most endangered primates, and it’s estimated that fewer than 5,000 are left on their native island of Sulawesi in Indonesia.

The species is listed as “Critically Endangered” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, largely because their habitat is disappearing due to illegal logging. They are also targets for poachers and are over-hunted for food as, in their homeland, macaques are considered a local delicacy and are served up on special occasions such as weddings. As a result, their wild numbers are believed to have plummeted by around 80% in the last 30 years.

2_A week-old Sulawesi macaque is nursed by mum Lisa (22)

3_A week-old Sulawesi macaque is nursed by mum Lisa (17)

4_A week-old Sulawesi macaque is nursed by mum Lisa (15)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

Dr. Nick Davis, the zoo’s assistant curator of mammals, said, “Our new arrival means we now have a group of 15 Sulawesi Crested Macaques. They’re a key part of a European endangered species breeding programme that is working to protect this charismatic species, which, sadly, is highly threatened in the wild.”

“Sulawesi Macaques are extremely intelligent and social animals, so a new arrival always creates excitement in the group. This is also the first baby to be fathered by dominant male Momassa, making it all the more special.”

Davis continued, “Macaques have very obvious individual personalities which can be seen in facial expressions, and so we’re looking forward to seeing what sort of character our tiny youngster will develop into. At the moment though, our new arrival will spend time playing and getting to know the rest of the group. We’re ever so pleased to say that both are doing very well so far.”

The new youngster, who is yet to be sexed or named, is the first of its kind to be born at Chester Zoo since its group of Sulawesi Macaques moved into their new state-of-the-art home. Islands (the UK’s biggest ever zoo development) showcases a vast array of threatened species from the region of South East Asia.

Johanna Rode-Margono, the zoo’s South East Asia conservation field programme officer, added, “It’s important to us that our new Islands zone, and the amazing species living in it, helps us to throw a spotlight on the conservation work that we’re doing out in the field to try and protect some of South East Asia’s most endangered animals.”

“We are working with the local people living in Sulawesi and providing support to help save the forests and the diverse animal species living there.”

Much more below the fold!

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