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Denver Zoo Celebrates Rare Birth of Colobus Monkey

Denver Zoo welcomes its newest resident, a newborn colobus monkey named Darby. The infant, whose gender is still unknown, is all-white and can be seen being held by its mother, providing a rare and striking visual; although infants are born white, adults are mostly black with a white face border and white veiling flanks and a bushy white tail.




All photos credit: Dave Parsons/Denver Zoo

The monkey was born to mother, Sadie, and father, Ray, on Oct. 15 and is the first of this species to be born at Denver Zoo since 2004. Weather permitting, the infant can be seen with the rest of its troop in Primate Panorama at Denver Zoo. The newborn’s mother will eventually allow the other females in the troop to hold the infant, but for now holds her baby tight. This arboreal species has no problem moving about the trees with the infant in tow.

The name colobus is from the Greek word meaning “mutilated one” because of the animal’s lack of thumbs. Colobus are part of the Old World monkey sub-family Colobinae, which is characterized by their lack of thumbs and cheek pouches, specialized, multi-chambered stomachs that ferment fibrous leaves, and a very long tail. In the wild, colobus monkeys can be found in central Africa. One of the primary threats Colobus monkeys face in the wild is that they are often hunted for bushmeat.