Smithsonian National Zoo Welcomes a Baby Black Howler Monkey
April 09, 2012
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo's Small Mammal House celebrated the birth of a Black Howler monkey (Alouatta caraya) on March 22. Since then, keepers have been monitoring the family at a distance, allowing mom Chula along with the father, Pele, to bond with their baby. They've proven to be excellent first-time parents. The baby seems bright, alert, and increases its activity and independence day by day. This is the first surviving howler monkey in the Zoo’s history of exhibiting the animal. Its gender has not yet been determined.
Why are they called howlers? Their thick necks house a unique voice box, including an enlarged hyoid bone, that enables male howler monkeys to penetrate three miles of dense forest with a single rumbling growl. These booming territorial calls have earned the primates, which are native to Central and South America, the title of loudest animal in the New World (North, Central and South America). The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the black howler monkey as least concern.
Photo Credit: Photos 1, 2, 3, 5, 6: Janice Sveda / Photos 4,7: Clyde Nishumura