Zoo keepers at Chester Zoo have just released the first photos of a rare baby Sulawesi Crested Macaque born in January.
The tiny female baby, which keepers have named Amidala, is a welcome boost to the European endangered species breeding program that is working to protect Sulawesi's Macaques. The species is listed as Critically Endangered, with fewer than 5,000 individuals remaining in the wild.
Sulawesi Crested Macaques are the rarest of the seven Macaque species living in rain forests on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
The illegal wildlife trade and large scale habitat loss due to illegal logging has pushed the Sulawesi Crested Macaque to the edge of extinction. They are also targets for poachers and are over-hunted for food. The species’ wild number is believed to have plummeted by around 80% in the last 30 years.
With Amidala’s arrival, there are now 18 Sulawesi Crested Macaques living at Chester Zoo. Amidala was born to parents Lisa and Mamassa.
Conservationists from Chester Zoo works with communities in Sulawesi to help protect forests and the diverse animal species living in them.