Things are going bananas as the Saint Louis Zoo welcomes a brand new baby Guereza colobus monkey within its care.
The black and white male colobus monkey was born at the Saint Louis Zoo on Dec. 29, 2017. The baby, who will be named by zookeepers at a later date, and his family can be seen at the Primate House during regular Zoo hours.
According to the zoo, colobus infants are born with all white hair and a pink face. When the animals reach adulthood they’re primarily clad in 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 their backs.
The baby colobus monkey’s coat will change gradually until they reach adult coloration at about six months.
Brooke Johnson, Saint Louis Zoo primate keeper, said the baby colobus monkey has been extremely curious about his surroundings and his brother and sister are affectionately caring for their younger sibling.
“The new baby is doing really well and becoming very interested in everything happening around him,” Johnson said. “Brother and sister, Binti and Simon, are doing a great job taking care of and looking after their new sibling; and one-year-old Willow is adjusting very well to sharing her mom with her baby brother.”
The baby will stay with its mom for nursing and sleeping, but at other times throughout the day, it’s common to see Binti take the baby while mom eats or interacts with other members of the family, according to zookeepers.
This a necessary skill for young female colobus monkeys to learn so they too can become successful mothers in the future.
The colobus monkey is found throughout the forests of east and central Africa. The birth is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Colobus Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to manage a genetically healthy population of black and white colobus monkeys in North American zoos.
But it’s not just baby monkeys being born at the Saint Louis Zoo. Eight baby cheetahs were born at the zoo’s River’s Edge Cheetah Breeding Center in November. This marked the first time in the zoo’s history that eight of the cats were born at its location.