Saint Louis Zoo Celebrate Birth of Baby Monkey

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: April 20, 2022 6:08 pm

Baby Colobus at Saint Louis Zoo

A baby colobus monkey is seen holding on to its mother at the Saint Louis Zoo Primate Canopy Trails Habitat

Photo Credit: Saint Louis Zoo

Saint Louis Zoo have welcomed the first baby monkey to be born at their Primate Canopy Trails habitat since it opened in July 2021. The new arrival is a male Guereza colobus monkey born on March 21st 2022.

The juvenile has been named Ficus and can now be seen in the Primate House or the Michael and Quirsis Riney Primate Canopy Trails. Ficus has been given a tree-related name following the tradition of his siblings - Juniper, Willow, Hawthorn and Teak.

This infant was welcomed to experienced mother, Cecelia, 22. Having welcomed seven young she is continuing to take great care of her infants. The father is 16 year old Kima.

Colobus monkeys work cooperatively to raise their young with all females taking turns to care for their young.

Since 2011 the Saint Louis Zoo have welcomed 11 successful colobus births. The births are part of 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.

Ficus is the first baby monkey born at the Primate Canopy Trails habitat. This new expansion to the primate house gives the residents a chance to enjoy valuable time in nature, sunlight, and fresh air.

“With the addition of Ficus, we now have a family of nine individuals, which is the largest group we have ever had at the Zoo. It is so fun to watch the family dynamic play out in this large family! The older siblings are learning necessary behaviors for becoming great mothers or fathers one day,” said Brooke Johnson, a primate keeper at the Zoo. “

''One-year-old Juniper is learning how to share her mom with her new baby brother and is incredibly curious yet very gentle with him. Big sisters Binti (8) and Willow (6) continue to be great babysitters and can be seen frequently holding their baby brother while mom Cecelia finds food or enjoys a grooming session from dad Kima or one of her sons. Ficus is already very adventurous, practicing his walking away from Mom and watching his older siblings chase and play. It won’t be long until he’s joining them!”

At birth colobus are covered by white fur. This contrasts with the black and white fur of the adults. As they approach 6 months old their coat gradually transitions to meet that of the adults.

Guereza colobus are native to Africa where they can be seen in the forests at the centre of the country. Increasingly they are threatened by deforestation and illegal hunting.

Learn more about Colobus Monkeys here - Colobus Monkey Fact File | The Animal Facts

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

Baby Colobus at Saint Louis Zoo

A baby colobus monkey is seen at the Saint Louis Zoo Primate Canopy Trails Habitat

Photo Credit: Saint Louis Zoo

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