Niabi Zoo has welcomed an adorable new addition, a female black-and-white colobus monkey was born Sept. 1 to Shirati, a 12-year-old female. The baby has not been named, and is the eighth baby born to her mother, Shirati. The new baby’s father is the monkey troops adult male, Tuli.
Zookeepers say the baby was born over night and discovered on a recent early-morning check. They found Shirati cradling and nursing the baby. According to Marc Heinzman, the zoo director, some of the other females in the troop serve as babysitters from time to time. The new baby will be on display daily with her mother, depending on good weather, in the African Treetops exhibit.
Plans for a naming contest will be announced soon, he said.
“We’re so thrilled to have yet another healthy and thriving baby colobus monkey,” Heinzman said. “Niabi Zoo is known in the zoo field for having one of the most successful breeding programs for this species, and this birth is a continuation of that.”
Colobuses live in territorial groups of about nine individuals, based upon a single male with a number of females and their offspring. Newborn colobuses are completely white.
Colobuses are important for seed dispersal through their sloppy eating habits, as well as through their digestive systems. They are prey for many forest predators, and are threatened by hunting for the bushmeat trade, logging, and habitat destruction.