Even though the newest arrival at Lincoln Park Zoo only weighs a few ounces, the diminutive Bolivian Gray Titi (pronounced tee-tee) Mmonkey is a big deal. The baby, born August 18, is the ninth offspring for its parents, and its mother is the oldest of her species to give birth in a North American zoo.
Animal care staffers do not know yet if the little one, which joins a small population of only around 50 other Bolivian Gray Titi monkeys in accredited zoos nationwide, is a boy or a girl – but they do know it is adorable!
“The baby is spending most of its time nestled in the thick fur on mom’s back, but we do get a glimpse of its little face peeking up now and then,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “Dad and the siblings are playfully curious with the new arrival, and the whole group is responding appropriately to the addition.”
Mom Delasol, 21, and dad Ocala, 15, are well-versed in the ways of parenting. Just last October they welcomed their eighth offspring together, a male aptly named Ocho, the Spanish word for eight. They are recommended to breed by the Titi Monkey Species Survival Plan (SSP) and are one of the most successful pairs on record.
As the oldest mother in the SSP to produce healthy offspring, Delasol is a testament to the high quality animal care at Lincoln Park Zoo and the special attention paid to aging animals. The birth is particularly significant because Bolivian Gray Titi monkeys are declining in their native South America due to habitat loss and the illegal pet trade.
Titi families are known for being tight-knit, and fathers and siblings pitch in with childcare duties early on. The Titi Monkeys at Lincoln Park Zoo can often be seen sitting closely together on the same branch and intertwining their tails as a bonding behavior.
Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo.