A male black and white Colobus Monkey named ‘Simon’ was born at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Primate House on December 30, 2014.
Colobus infants are born with all white hair and a pink face. In contrast, adults are primarily black, with white hair encircling their faces and half of their tails. They have a distinctive mantle of long white hair extending from their shoulders around the edge of their backs. Infants will change gradually until they reach adult coloration at about 6 months.
‘Cecelia’, age 16, is an experienced mother who is taking great care of her newborn and 2-year-old daughter ‘Kivuli’. Also in the family is 27-year-old matriarch, ‘Roberta’, mother to 2-1/2-year-old daughter ‘Pili’ and 1-year-old daughter ‘Binti’. Nine-year-old father, ‘Kima’, watches proudly over the family.
“A new infant is always the focus of so much excitement and attention for the family,” says Joe Knobbe, Zoological Manager of Primates at the Saint Louis Zoo. “It’s important for everyone to have a role in the care of the newborn. Older sister Kivuli has taken particular interest in her new baby brother and is often seen holding or even carrying him. She’s learning important skills that will help her become a great mother, too, someday.”
The family can be seen at the Primate House. Visitors can see the infant poking his head out to look at his new world.
The Colobus Monkey, a threatened species, is found throughout the forests of east and central Africa. The birth is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Colobus Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to manage a genetically healthy population of black and white Colobus Monkeys in North American zoos.