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A Little White Shadow Arrives at the St. Louis Zoo

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A black-and-white Colobus (CAHL-uh-bus) Monkey was born at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Primate House on October 31-- Halloween! Her name is Kivuli (pronounced Kih-VOO-lee), which, fittingly for her birthdate, is Swahili for ghost or shadow.

Colobus infants are born with all white hair and a pink face. In contrast, adults are primarily black, with white hair encircling their face and half of their tail. They have a distinctive mantle of long white hair extending from their shoulders around the edge of their back. Infants will change color gradually until they reach adult coloration at about 6 months. Colobus Monkeys are 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.


Mom Cecelia, age 13, is raising her first baby under the watchful eye of the group’s matriarch, Roberta, age 25, who has two offspring of her own — 1-1/2-year-old male, Mosi, and 5-month-old female, Pili. The family of six, including dad Kima, age 6, is now on view at the Primate House. Visitors can see the infant poking its little white head out to look at its new world. 


Photo Credit: Ray Meibaum Saint Louis Zoo