Obu received 827 of the 2,197 (37%) of the votes which were cast in the pole.
Keepers decided on five names which people could vote on. These were Obu, Osaka, Okuchi, Otsu and Obihiro. This follows the trend of naming the troops members after Japanese cities.
All of the names selected also start with “O”. This was no coincidence with keepers using the first letter of the mother’s name a trend which they plan to continue with all of the kids born into the troop. This is important in tracking the group as Curator of primate Maureen Leahy said, “Matrilines (lines of female descent) are really important in establishing the cool cultures we see in snow monkey troops, behaviors ranging from washing food to warming up in hot springs.”
This approach hasn’t been used at the zoo before but is used by Jane Goodall to track the chimpanzees which she studies in Gombe National Park.
Currently the zoo’s little “snowball” is enjoying regular cuddles from mum, Ono but is also starting to strike out on his own occasionally.
Photo Credit: Lincoln Park Zoo