Baby Guereza Colobus Born at the St Louis Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: May 12, 2021 1:50 pm

St Louis Zoo Baby Guereza Colobus

A female guereza colobus infant, known as Juniper is held by her mother Cecelia at the St Louis Zoo

Photo Credit: Ethan Riepl/Saint Louis Zoo

St Louis Zoo have introduced their latest arrival, a female Guereza colobus monkey born on April 8th 2021. She can now been seen with her family at the zoo’s primate house.

The infant has been named Juniper in line with a tree-related naming convention. Her siblings are known as Willow, Hawthorn and Teak.

Mother Cecilia, 21 is the dominant female with the zoo’s troop of guereza colobus which includes 8 members. The infant is in safe hands with Cecilia having given birth to five previous babies.

Cecilia will receive assistance from other members of the troop with all females taking turns to carry and hold the infant giving her time to eat or socialize. Father Kima, 15 has also been seen watching over and interacting with his new arrival.

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Colubus infants look incredibly different to their parents at birth. Their body is covered with bright white fur and the face is pink. Juniper will begin her transition to the adult coloration at 6 months old.

“The new baby adds so much to the dynamics of the colobus group,” said John Velasco, Primate Keeper, Saint Louis Zoo. “One-year-old Teak, previously the youngest in the group, is gaining more independence from the comfort of his mother, Cecelia, now that she’s also caring for an infant. The others in the group are learning how to care for a baby, as they mimic behaviors of mom and older female siblings, Binti and Willow.”  

The birth of Juniper was guided by a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Colobus Species Survival Plan, a conservation breeding program to manage a genetically healthy population of Guereza colobus monkeys in North American zoos.

Since 2011 the St Louis Zoo have celebrated the arrival of 10 colobus infants.

Guereza colobus monkeys come from Central Africa where they are still considered fairly abundant. Their populations are seeing increased threats from timber plantations and destruction to create agricultural land. Illegal hunting is also a threat.

St Louis Zoo Baby Guereza Colobus
St Louis Zoo Baby Guereza Colobus

A female guereza colobus infant, known as Juniper is held by her mother Cecelia at the St Louis Zoo

Photo Credit: Ethan Riepl/Saint Louis Zoo

Learn more about Colobus here – Colobus Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the St Louis Zoo on their website – St Louis Zoo

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