Keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park are in love with a week old baby Colobus Monkey – the latest addition to one of the black and white Colobus groups at the park. At this young age keepers are unable to tell whether it is male or female. Since Colobus are a social group, all the females in the troup, not just mom, will take responsibility for the little one's care, keeping it warmed, protected and nourished for at least the first few months of it's life.
Adult black and white Colobus monkeys have striking black pelts with a white mantel and a long white tip to their tail. The young are born entirely white and their coloring will appear gradually as they mature. Their dramatic black and white pelts are still highly prized and hunting. That, along with deforestation across their natural habitat of equatorial Africa, has resulted in a decline of numbers.
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Head Primate Keeper, Simon Jeffery explains, "This adorable infant is doing very well with mum and the rest of the group. We tend not to get involved at this stage, unless we have to, so that the bond between mum and infant is not broken. We have some ideas for names but we will have to wait and see if the little one is a boy or girl before we decide on a final name."