Colobus Monkey

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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Wooly White Baby Colobus Arrives at Drusillas Park

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The UK's Drusillas Park is celebrating the arrival of a baby Colobus monkey - the first to be bred at the Zoo. The little scamp was born on November 18 and is looking extremely alert alongside parents, Elgon and Isis. Born covered in wooly white fur resembleing a lamb, it will be approximately six months before the baby develops the black and white color like the adults.

The new arrival is being closely guarded by mom but will become increasingly confident over the coming weeks. These large black and white monkeys live in family groups of up to 20, which often consist of a male and several females plus their young. They usually have one baby at a time. 

This family group was re-homed to the zoo at the beginning of the year from Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. In the wild, they inhabit the forests of central Africa where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting. Colobus monkeys are highly arboreal, travelling through the treetops using their elongated arms and legs to spring from branch to branch. A long mane hangs from their shoulders like a cape as they perform hair-raising displays of jumps and lunges. 

The colobus monkeys at Drusillas Park are part of a European breeding program. Hopefully, the family tree will continue to grow at the zoo for many years to come.

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Photo Credits: Photo 1: Vic Sharratt, Photos 2, 3: Drusillas Park Zoo


Little Monkey Doing Great after a Rough Start

Born late last year, this little Colobus monkey got off to a rough start. Health problems resulted in her small size for her age and it appeared that mother, Zoe, might not be producing sufficient milk to nourish her baby. Luckily, veterinary and zookeeper staff at Mesker Park Zoo stepped in, providing supplemental feedings around the clock. Today little Garnet is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as you can see in the pictures below. Colobus monkeys are born white and turn black as juveniles.

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Photo credits: Jessa Franck

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Colobus Defies Contraception

Born on November 27, 2009, a snowy white Kikuyu colobus monkey was a welcome holiday surprise for the Los Angeles Zoo!  The gender of the furry primate has yet to be determined, but at birth it weighed about a pound and measured around eight inches long.

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Because breeding is closely monitored to comply with the Species Survival Program and the L.A. Zoo's colobus monkeys are genetically well represented in zoos, the mother was placed on implant contraceptives in October 2008.  They were meant to be effective for a period of two years. Oops!

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Colobus monkeys live in highly cohesive social groups so despite the "unplanned" nature of the event, father, mother and another adult female are all playing attentive and supportive roles.  

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The L.A. Zoo is inviting visitors to participate in a naming contest for the newborn through January 11, 2010, so if you live in Southern California, or have been looking for an excuse to visit (like naming a baby monkey) now's your chance. The winner will receive a free behind-the-scenes-tour of the Zoo for up to six people!


Denver Zoo Celebrates Rare Birth of Colobus Monkey

Denver Zoo welcomes its newest resident, a newborn colobus monkey named Darby. The infant, whose gender is still unknown, is all-white and can be seen being held by its mother, providing a rare and striking visual; although infants are born white, adults are mostly black with a white face border and white veiling flanks and a bushy white tail.

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All photos credit: Dave Parsons/Denver Zoo

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