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Meet Kanoa, Denver's Newest De Brazza's Monkey!


Denver Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a male De Brazza's Monkey named Kanoa! He was born to mother, Marinda and father, Kisoro, on November 27. This is the second birth for Kisoro, who came to Denver Zoo after being rescued from a black market in the Congo. Like his sister Kanani, born December 19, 2009, Kanoa is described as very independent and precocious despite his mother's early attempts to be protective. This makes his name all the more appropriate. "Kanoa" is Hawaiian for "free one."

Debrazzas_baby_5302l_dpPhoto credits: Dave Parsons / Denver Zoo

Kanoa's father, Kisoro, came to Denver Zoo in 2006 and is believed to have been born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was rescued off the black market as an orphan illegally up for sale to be used in the pet trade or as bush meat. He was not returned to his native habitat because he lacked the skills to survive in the wild. Marinda was born at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and came to Denver from the North Carolina Zoo in 2009. The two were paired under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proved to be an excellent match.

De Brazza's monkeys live in both swamps and forests of central Africa. They are difficult to find, though as they are excellent at hiding and can freeze in place for several hours if they sense they are in danger. In fact, because they hide so well it is unknown how many exist in the wild. Though they are not considered endangered, their greatest threats come from habitat loss.

They typically live in small social groups that generally consist of a dominant male and many females. Adult males weigh around 15 pounds. Females can weigh about half as much. They have grayish fur with black limbs and white backsides. Their faces are distinguishable by orange, crescent-shaped markings on their foreheads and white muzzles and beards. They get their names from Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, a French explorer in the late 1800s.

Weather permitting, visitors can see Kanoa climbing around his habitat in Primate Panorama. 

Baby De Brazza's Monkey Denver Zoo