ZSL London Zoo recently welcomed a new arrival to its troop of Eastern Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys…a tiny baby named Mandible.
After a six-month gestation period, she was born to mum Sophia on February 2. Mandible was given her unique moniker by zookeepers to fit with the tradition of naming the Colobus family after bones in the body, which includes Mandible’s siblings Anvil and Maxilla.
Bernie Corbett, zookeeper at ZSL London Zoo, said: “Colobus Monkeys are born pure white, and they stay this way until they are around five-months-old when they begin to develop their adult colouring: a glossy black coat with a fringe of long white hairs and a large white tuft at the end of the tail.”
“The new-born Colobus Monkey will cling onto her mum as she swings from tree to tree, leaping metres into the air. Mandible is starting to test out her jumping skills and mimicking mum as she learns new actions and movements.”
“Contrary to what many people believe, not all monkeys eat bananas. This species (Colobus guereza) are leaf eaters; they enjoy a range of leaves, flowers and twigs. A particular favourite of the ZSL London Zoo family are the twigs from an apple tree.”
The Eastern Black-and-white Colobus is native to much of west central and east Africa, including Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Chad.
The species is currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. Although the population is somewhat stable, threats exist in the wild. According to the IUCN: “This species is threatened in parts of its range by habitat loss through deforestation for timber, conversion to exotic forest plantations and conversion to agricultural land (e.g., von Hippel et al. 2000). Hunting may also be severely impacting populations in the western part of the species range; Mwenja (2007) commented, in passing, that this subspecies is killed for its skins by local pastoralists in and around the Matthews Range Forest Reserve.”
The family of Colobus Monkeys, at ZSL London Zoo, is the largest troop in Europe and second largest in the world (according to international zoo database, ZIMS).
The zoo’s troop of 17 will be moving house, in the summer of 2018, to a newly renovated enclosure. Their new home, the iconic Snowdon Aviary, will be transformed into a walk-through exhibit for the stunning primates.
For more information or to visit Mandible and the other 18,000 incredible residents at ZSL London Zoo (and save 10% on ticket prices*), simply book online now at: www.zsl.org
*Children under three-years-old can visit for free.