Keepers at Des Moines, Iowa's Blank Park Zoo sprang into action when it became clear the mother of a new born baby Japanese Macaque was neglecting her infant. The female baby monkey, born April 20, is now being bottle fed every couple of hours and will remain in keepers' care until she is fully weaned and able to rejoin the Macaque troop.
“This is a positive step forward for the Japanese macaque breeding program, but we can’t call it a success until the mothers learn how to care for their young” said Kevin Drees, director of animal care and conservation. “None of our females of breeding age have raised a baby before so that is why keepers had to intervene.”
Japanese macaques are threatened due to deforestation and the loss of their habitat. As human development invades the territories of these macaques, human and macaque encounters increase, and about 5000 macaques are captured or shot each year (despite protection from the Japanese government) for they are considered as agricultural pests.