Spain’s Bioparc Valencia welcomed a Northern Talapoin, the smallest of all Monkeys found in Africa, on August 21. The birth is significant because it occurred within a group of Talapoins that were confiscated from wildlife smugglers.
Photo Credit: Bioparc Valencia
Baby Talapoins are born weighing almost one-quarter of their adult weight. That means a two-pound adult female could deliver a baby weighing one-half pound. (In humans, that would be akin to a 100-pound woman giving birth to a 25-pound baby.) The baby Talapoins grow rapidly and are weaned by about six weeks of age. The youngsters are independent by the time they are three months old.
Northern Talapoins are not well studied, so this birth allows the zoo to share information on breeding and reproduction with the scientific community.
Because of their small size and unusual greenish coloration, Talapoins are captured and sold illegally as pets. As in most wildlife trafficking, the animals are kept in cruel conditions (such as being stuffed into PVC pipes), and many die in transport. The lucky group at Bioparc Valencia was spared that fate.
Wildlife trafficking remains a significant problem around the globe. Wild animals should never be kept as pets.