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Tiny King Born at Paignton Zoo

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There’s been a royal birth at Paignton Zoo!  A King Colobus Monkey was born on October 3.

This is the fourth baby for father Martin and mother Ivy.  King Colobus babies typically weigh under two pounds.  The sex is not yet known – the first vet check is not due until the youngster is at least 6 months old.

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Colobus babies are born with pure white fur, but they develop the species’ typical black markings at about one month of age.  The new arrival brings the zoo’s Colobus troop to six individuals.

The baby is important, as Paignton Zoo Curator of Mammals Neil Bemment explained: “There are only six collections in Europe holding King Colobus, so the birth is special as we and EAZA - the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria - want this population to grow.”

The species is listed by the IUCN as Vulnerable. It is threatened by habitat destruction and hunting for food. Paignton Zoo participates in the European zoos' Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for King Colobus.

King Colobus Monkeys live in the forests of central Africa, where they feed on leaves.  They often rest quietly for hours while they digest this low-value food in their unusually large stomachs. King Colobus Monkeys spend their lives in the tree-tops. Four long fingers on each forelimb grasp branches like hooks.

Photo Credit:  Ray Wiltshire