Zoo news letterhead

Nov. 16, 2012

Saint Louis Zoo 314/781-0900
Christy Childs, 314/646-4639
Joanna Bender, 314/646-4703

A little white “shadow” arrives at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Primate House

A black-and-white colobus (CAHL-uh-bus) monkey was born at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Primate House on Halloween, Oct. 31, 2012. Her name is Kivuli (pronounced Kih-VOO-lee), which is Swahili for ghost or shadow.

Colobus infants are born with all white hair and a pink face. In contrast, adults are primarily black, with white hair encircling their face and half of their tail. They have a distinctive mantle of long white hair extending from their shoulders around the edge of their back. Infants will change color gradually until they reach adult coloration at about 6 months.

Cecelia, age 13, is raising her first baby under the watchful eye of the group’s matriarch, Roberta, age 25, who has two offspring of her own — 1-1/2-year-old male, Mosi (MOH-zee), and 5-month-old female, Pili (PEEL-ee).

“Primates rely heavily on learning through experience,” says Joe Knobbe, Saint Louis Zoo manager of primates. “Cecelia is being a great mother to her infant thanks to the wonderful example of parenting she’s learned from Roberta.”

The family of six, including father Kima, age 6, is now on view at the Primate House. Visitors can see the infant poking its head out to look at its new world.

Colobus monkeys are found throughout the forests of east and central Africa. The birth is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Colobus Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to manage a genetically healthy population of black and white colobus monkeys in North American zoos.