Three new mothers from Minnesota Zoo will celebrate their first mother’s day this weekend with their new infants. The Japanese macaque trio gave birth on April 17, April 20 and May 1.
Mother’s Yuki, Shumei and Yumoto have been keeping their new charges close but slowly they are beginning to venture out their own. The youngsters are quite small having weighed just 0.5kg (1lb) at birth. With a healthy diet they will reach between 9 and 11kg (15 and 25lb).
These three new additions have joined a 20 member troop of Japanese macaques housed at the zoo. Their troops have complex social structures with females remaining in their family group for life helping to rear the other infants in the group. Troops may number 10-200 individuals in the wild. Groups communicate using over 30 sounds and numerous facial and bodily experessions.
Keepers are currently unaware of what the genders of the newborns are.
This species hails from Japan including the Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Takeshima islands. They feed upon fruit, roots, leave, insects and planted crops including rice, maize and potatoes.
The new babies were born following a 170-180 day gestation. A single infant is born between April and July. All the females in a group take an interest in the infant but it will be several weeks before they are able to hold them.
Photo Credit: Minnesota Zoo/ Ashley Ondricek