Born late last year, this little Colobus monkey got off to a rough start. Health problems resulted in her small size for her age and it appeared that mother, Zoe, might not be producing sufficient milk to nourish her baby. Luckily, veterinary and zookeeper staff at Mesker Park Zoo stepped in, providing supplemental feedings around the clock. Today little Garnet is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as you can see in the pictures below. Colobus monkeys are born white and turn black as juveniles.
Photo credits: Jessa Franck
COLOBUS MONKEY BABY
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden
Evansville, IN –On November 13, 2009, 16 year-old colobus monkey mother, Zoe, and 19 year-old father, Michael, welcomed female baby colobus Garnet into the world. Although Garnet is doing well now, that is only because of the expert care she received from the veterinary and zookeeper staff at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. This baby was an average weight of approximately one pound at birth; however, she had some health issues immediately after birth, causing her to be small for her age. Garnet struggled to gain weight and there was question as to whether mom was producing sufficient milk to nourish her baby. During the following weeks, zookeeper and veterinary staff supplemented the baby with feedings around the clock to ensure she received enough nourishment. According to Zoo Veterinarian, Dr. Maria Spriggs, “Although she had a rough start as a newborn, she now appears to be healthy and continues to grow.” She currently weighs 2.75 pounds and is on exhibit daily from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Children’s Enchanted Forest.
Colobus monkeys are forest dwellers across equatorial Africa and can be found at very high altitudes of up to 9,300 feet above sea level. These SSP (Species Survival Plan) animals are not considered threatened or endangered in the wild. There are 206 Colobus guereza in 53 AZA institutions with eight births reported in 2009. Colobus babies are born white with pink faces that darken over time. Around 6-8 months of age, the monkeys will have full adult coloration. Adult colobus monkeys typically weigh between 25-30 pounds. Garnet is Zoe’s first surviving offspring, but Michael is a very experienced father and good with babies. The last colobus baby was born at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden about 5 years ago.