FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 3, 2017
Saint Louis Zoo 314/781-0900
Susan Gallagher, 314/646-4633 email@example.com
Christy Childs, 314/646-4639 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike De Pope, 314/646-4703 email@example.com
BABY COLOBUS MONKEY BORN
AT THE SAINT LOUIS ZOO'S PRIMATE HOUSE
A female black and white colobus monkey, also known as Guereza colobus (Guh-REZ-uh KAH-luh-bus), named Willow was born at the Saint Louis Zoo's Primate House on Jan. 10, 2017. The name was chosen by staff and means graceful, like the well-known type of tree.
Colobus infants are born with all white hair and a pink face. In contrast, adults are primarily black, with white hair encircling their faces and half of their tails. Adults have a distinctive mantle of long white hair extending from their shoulders around the edge of their backs. Infants will change gradually until they reach adult coloration at about 6 months.
Cecelia, 17, is the dominant female in the group. She's an experienced mother who is taking great care of newborn Willow and 1-year-old Ziggy, who was born on the same date last year. Cecelia's other son, 2-year-old son Simon, is interested in his new sister and has been seen learning to carry her around.
Also in the family is 29-year-old matriarch Roberta, and her daughter, 3-year-old Binti (BIN-tee). Both have been seen assisting Cecelia in carrying the new baby. Ten-year-old father Kima (KEE-muh) can be seen watching stoically over his family.
"The family dynamic is completely different this year," says Brooke Johnson, Saint Louis Zoo primate keeper and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutional representative for the black and white colobus monkey. "Older sisters Kivuli and Pili, who were great babysitters for their younger siblings, recently moved to another zoo, where they will hopefully become moms in the future. Now Binti is getting her turn at learning to care for a newborn."
The family can be seen at the Primate House. Visitors can see our new female infant poking her head out to look at her new world.
The colobus monkey is found throughout the forests of east and central Africa. The birth is part of the AZA Colobus Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to manage a genetically healthy population of black and white colobus monkeys in North American zoos.