The Sulawesi Crested Macaque Island at the Dublin Zoo celebrated yet another addition to their troop. Since Sumo the alpha male arrived in 2009 the group has welcomed five youngsters with this most recent addition born about a month ago. It is too early to tell if the baby is a male or a female.
Ciaran McMahon, team leader of the macaques said, “Macaques are an endangered species and it is a real accomplishment that our troop is growing so fast. We have a cohesive group of twelve macaques who can regularly be seen grooming and spending time with each other. He added, “Male macaques are not monogamous primates and Sumo is enjoying great success with his six breeding females. We hope to welcome more new arrivals throughout the year.”
Photo Credit: Dublin Zoo
Sulawesi Crested Macaques are also known as black apes. Crestedmacaques have impresive jet black faces and bodies except for the bright pink color of the pads on the rump. They are found on only two islands in Indonesia. They primarly live in rain forest but only sleep, and sometimes eat, in the trees. They spend more than 60% of their day on the ground socializing and looking for food - fruit and soft tree leaves. This species population, like so many, has been in decline. Experts say total population has reduced to one fifth it's original numbers over the last 40 years, and is considered critically endangered. One cause is that they are hunted for meat. The other is loss of forest from the growing human population.