Monkey

Zoo Wroclaw Welcomes Eleventh L’Hoest’s Monkey

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The L'Hoest's Monkey family group at Zoo Wrocław is maintained at the level of eight to ten individuals to prevent inbreeding and overcrowding. Over the years they’ve successfully raised ten offspring, mostly females.

The youngest addition to the Zoo’s family came into the world recently---on Christmas Day. The mother is Hermione, and the father is the dominant male, Heos. The sex of the toddler is still unknown, but the caregivers suspect it to be a female.

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4_DSC06982Photo Credits: ZOO Wroclaw

The L'Hoest's Monkey (Cercopithecus lhoesti) is one of the least common monkeys in zoological gardens in the world. Only 14 zoos have it in their collection. The species is found in the upper eastern Congo basin. They mostly live in mountainous forest areas in small, female-dominated groups.

The species is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. However, the ongoing military conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (over 20 years already) prevents an accurate estimation of the population size in the wild. In this situation, conservation breeding in zoological gardens becomes a necessity for the survival of the species. Zoo Wrocław plays an important role in the conservation efforts.

“It is believed that the L'Hoest's Monkey’s Red List status of ‘vulnerable’ is not accurate anymore, and the population may be actually close to extinction. Even if the conflict in the Congo is over, it is hard to say what we will find there. Hence, breeding programs in zoos ensure a safe population, which will hopefully make possible the reintroduction of the species to the natural environment in the future,” said Anna Mękarska, specialist in the conservation of species from Zoo Wrocław.

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Zoo Celebrates Two Rare Primate Births

Cotton top tamarin 3 - 27.12.18 - Credit Brian Lilly (1)

The year 2018 ended on a high note for the Shaldon Wildlife Trust with the births of two endangered Tamarins.

Tamarins are a group of Monkeys native to Central and South America. There are more than 30 species of Tamarins, and most are roughly the size of a squirrel.

Cotton top tamarin 1 - 27.12.18 - Credit Brian Lilly
Cotton top tamarin 1 - 27.12.18 - Credit Brian LillyPhotos of Cotton-top Tamarin: Brian Lilly

A Pied Tamarin (not pictured) arrived in late October, the 12th to be born at the zoo. This species is found only in a small slice of tropical rain forest near the Brazilian city of Manaus. Pied Tamarins require highly specialized care and feeding, so zoo births are rare. The species is listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), because it is threatened with habitat loss.

A Cotton-top Tamarin born this fall is the first to be born at the facility in 15 years.  The baby was born to parents Tina and Turner, who are providing excellent care for their offspring. Males assist the female by carrying the baby on their back.

Like their cousins the Pied Tamarins, Cotton-top Tamarins are native to South America and have a unique diet that includes tree sap. They are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, with only about 6,000 individuals remaining in the wild. They were once listed as one of the 25 most endangered Primates in the world.

Cooperative breeding programs among zoos help to maintain a high level of genetic diversity within the zoo-dwelling population. Once these two babies have grown up, they will likely move to other European zoos and breed with unrelated individuals, thus bolstering the species.


Endangered Spider Monkey Born in Australia

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Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo were delighted by the early morning arrival of an endangered Black-handed Spider Monkey baby on October 26 to first time mother, Martina.

The male infant is yet to be named, but both mother and baby are doing well so far.

“Martina is a natural mother, she is showing all the right maternal behaviors. She has had the advantage of watching our two other mothers raise their babies over the past year,” said Keeper Stephanie Sims.

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_AT_051420151016Photo Credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

“At present visitors need to have a keen eye or binoculars to spot the newest addition, as the baby is clinging closely to mum’s stomach and looks like a little brown bulge from the viewing area.”

The baby will cling to his mother’s belly for the next few months, and has only in the last week started to hold his head up and look around. During his first year he will slowly gain confidence and start feeding himself, spending small periods of time away from Martina and hanging out with other members of the group. The baby will still rely on his mother though, as Spider Monkey babies are not considered completely independent until approximately three years of age.

“At present father Pedro doesn’t play a hands-on role raising the baby. However, as he gets older, Pedro will spend time wrestling and playing with him which also teaches specific social skills,” said Stephanie.

The two Spider Monkey babies born late last year were at first very curious about the new arrival, getting up close to take a look at the baby. The curiosity has worn off for the time being though.

“As the baby gets older and starts wanting to play with the older two, they will show more interest in him again.”

The Black-handed Spider Monkey regional conservation breeding program has a shortage of breeding males and while every birth is important, having a new genetic bloodline for the program is significant.

“We are really excited that the newest arrival is a male. The two babies from late last year were both females so to have a male this time is really great news,” said Stephanie.

Native to Central America and extreme northern South America, Black-handed Spider Monkeys are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The primary threat is loss of habitat. Large forested areas are essential to their survival, and these tracts are becoming rare in the region. Because they reproduce only once every two to four years, Black-handed Spider Monkey populations cannot quickly rebound when affected by human-caused disturbances.

 


Baby De Brazza’s Monkey for La Palmyre Zoo

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Zoo de La Palmyre announced the arrival of a De Brazza’s Monkey baby.

According to representatives from the French zoo, the one-month-old newborn is reportedly doing well and has started to eat solid food, though it is still suckling. Among cercopithecidae species, weaning is usually completed around one-year-old. The baby is yet-to-be-named, as the keepers haven’t confirmed its sex with certainty.

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4_MG_8208Photo Credits: Florence Perroux/Zoo de La Palmyre

De Brazza’s Monkeys (Cercopithecus neglectus) are born with a yellow-brown fur that darkens as they grow up. Adults have an orange crescent-shaped band of hair on their forehead and a white beard. De Brazza’s Monkeys mainly feed on fruits but also consume leaves and insects, and they frequently forage on the ground.

In the wild, the species is common and widespread. As it occurs in dozens of African countries, it is not threatened in short term but locally suffers from habitat destruction. Cercopithecidae are also hunted for their meat or because they sometimes destroy crops.


Baby Talapoin Born to Rescued Parents

BIOPARC Valencia - talapoines - madre y cría - agosto 2018Spain’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.

BIOPARC Valencia - talapoines - madre y cría - agosto 2018
BIOPARC Valencia - talapoines - madre y cría - agosto 2018
BIOPARC Valencia - talapoines - madre y cría - agosto 2018
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.


Baby L’Hoest’s Monkey Makes Dramatic Entrance

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A female L’Hoest’s Monkey made a dramatic entrance into the world at Zoo de La Palmyre, in France.

The infant was born on July 23 via emergency caesarean performed on her 9-year old mother. When dystocia (difficult delivery) was confirmed, the veterinary team intervened very quickly to assist in the birth.

Unfortunately, the baby did not present a sufficient grasping reflex (her mother was an inexperienced primiparous female). Therefore, after careful consideration, the vet decided hand rearing would be in the best interest of the newborn. She was put in an incubator at the Zoo nursery, where she immediately started being fed by the keepers.

A few days later, her incubator was put in the corridor of the monkey building, just in front of the L’Hoest’s Monkeys’ cage. This early return in close proximity to her group should allow the baby to have visual and auditory contact with her peers and facilitate her future reintroduction with them within a few months.

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4_MG_3743Photo Credits: Zoo de La Palmyre/ Florence Perroux (1,4)/ Sebastien Meys (2,3)For the time being the baby receives bottles of 20ml of milk every two hours from 8am to midnight. Keepers report that she’s very dynamic and reacts positively to the presence of the other L’Hoest’s Monkeys who are also very interested by this stirring baby.

L’Hoest Monkeys (Allochrocebus lhoesti) are native to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, western Rwanda and Uganda. Adults have a brilliant white ruff around their neck and amber-colored eyes. Youngsters have brown-red coast that darken with age.

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A Tiny New Addition at Hamilton Zoo

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There's a tiny new addition at the Hamilton Zoo - a Pygmy Marmoset!

The baby was born to mom Picchu and dad Salvador. Both are providing attentive care to their newborn. Marmoset parents share the responsibility of looking after their young, and the zoo staff is glad to see Salvador helping out.

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Photo Credit: Lisa Ridley

Pygmy Marmosets are the smallest Monkeys in the world, and one of the smallest Primates. They inhabit rain forests in the western Amazon Basin, which includes Peru, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador. These Monkeys gnaw holes in tree trunks using specialized teeth, then lick up the flowing sap with their tongue. They also eat the insects that fly in to feed on the sap, as well as fruits and nectar.

Parents carry their babies on their backs. Babies vocalize early and often, and entire Marmoset troops use a complex system of calls to maintain contact when foraging or traveling. Marmoset troops are small, usually made up of a breeding pair and a few generations of offspring.

The current population of Pygmy Marmosets is widespread and not under serious threat. They are listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. However, habitat loss and illegal capture for the pet trade could pose a threat in the future.

 

 

 


Baby Mandrills Are Los Angeles Zoo's First in 40 Years

LA Zoo Female Mandrill Newborn Photo by Jamie Pham

The Los Angeles Zoo is thrilled to welcome two Mandrill babies to the troop.  Mandrills are the largest of all Monkey species and one of the most colorful. The female baby was born on August 3, 2017 to five-year-old mother, Juliette. The male baby was born on August 17, 2017 to four-year-old mother, Clementine.

22096276_10159382997560273_4937201314791288531_oPhoto Credit:  Jamie Pham

 

The first-time mothers came to the L.A. Zoo from Parc Zoologique de La Palmyre in France in April 2016 to be paired with the first-time father, six-year-old Jabari, as part of a Species Survival Program (SSP) to strengthen the gene pool of this Vulnerable species.

“This is a very new breeding group of Mandrills that has only been together for about a year, so we’re incredibly happy with how well things are going so far,” said L’Oreal Dunn, animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. “This species comes from a small area in Africa that isn’t accessible to most people, so it’s very special that our guests can now observe babies here for the first time in over 40 years.”

The half-siblings can be seen clinging tightly to their mothers, playing together, and testing their boundaries. They are learning to navigate their new habitat, a rainforest-like environment that supplies the group with plenty of trees, logs, and plant life to explore during the day and aerial lofts and ledges where they sleep at night.

The babies were born without the signature red and blue stripes on their faces that people often associate with the unique looking primate. Only their father, who is the dominant male in the group, has the vibrant coloring on his elongated muzzle.  The red-and-blue-striped skin on a Mandrill’s face is a sign to females that a male is ready to mate. While female Mandrills can have colorful hues on their face as well, the markings tend to be paler in comparison.

Mandrills may look like Baboons, but DNA studies have shown that they are more closely related to Mangabeys. These Monkeys have extremely long canine teeth that can be used for self-defense, though baring them is typically a friendly gesture among Mandrills.

Wild Mandrills live in the remaining rainforests of western Africa in Cameroon, Gabon, and southwestern Congo. Populations are under threat and declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation caused by the spread of agriculture and human settlement, so the species is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Mandrills are often hunted for food as many Africans consider them to be a delicacy.

 


Langur Babies Debut at Los Angeles Zoo

Francois Langur Baby Photo 1 of 5 by Jamie Pham

The Los Angeles Zoo welcomed two bright orange male François’ Langur babies this summer. The first born was on June 23 to eight-year-old mother Vicki Vale and the second on July 12 to five-year-old mother Kim-Ly. The infants recently joined their mothers and 19-year-old father Paak in the outdoor habitat, a dense forest filled with tall trees and plenty of branches for climbing and swinging. The babies will eventually be introduced to the rest of the family on exhibit, 26-year-old female Mei-Chi and two-year-old Tao.

Francois Langur Baby Photo 2 of 5 by Jamie Pham
Francois Langur Mom and Baby Photo 3 of 5 by Jamie PhamPhoto Credit: Jamie Pham

“We’re very excited for guests to be able to observe this blended family in their new group dynamic,” said Roxane Losey, Animal Keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. “Once the two boys are a little older, they will join their brother Tao and things will probably get a little rough and tumble when they play. These Monkeys are very acrobatic and like to jump and leap from branch to branch.”

The Monkey babies have a long tail, striking eyes, and orange and black fur that will fade to full black over time. François’ Langur infants nurse for close to a year, so they can often be seen in the arms of their mothers. This sometimes proves difficult for mother Vicki Vale who suffered a past injury that left her with limited mobility on her left side. Vicki Vale’s baby has adapted to the unique situation by sometimes hoisting himself onto his mother’s back to leave her hands free when navigating the branches in the habitat. This is not a trait you would find in the wild, as it leaves the baby open to capture by predators or being knocked down by tree branches. 

The babies will also spend time with the other adult female members of the group through a practice called alloparenting. This trait lets young females  gain experience caring for infants and builds bonds within the troop. It also gives mom a break! Sometimes, though, the animals disagree over how to raise the babies or how they interact with each other.

“The whole family will have minor squabbles from time to time, but you will actually see them come to each other and make up, sometimes with a hug,” said Losey. “You won’t see a lot of Monkeys with this hugging behavior, but Francois’ Langurs are a very gentle species.”

Native to southern China and northeastern Vietnam, François’ Langurs feed on shoots, fruits, flowers, and bark collected in the treetops or on the forest floor. François’ Langurs are listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List due to deforestation and illegal capture for use in traditional Asian medicines sold on the black market.

See more photos of the baby Langurs below.

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Monkeys and Keepers Team Up to Care for Endangered Baby

BabyLangur_001_Med-860x450Animal care staff at the San Diego Zoo are getting some unique helpers as they assist an endangered 7-week-old François’ Langur Monkey: The entire Langur troop pitches in to socialize the baby, while keepers make sure he gets enough food and care.

After the baby, named Chi, was born in February to mother Mei Li, keepers noticed that she rejected her baby and failed to nurse him.  The staff hoped that other members of this troop might decide to raise the baby, because Langurs practice alloparetning, where all members of the group participate in rearing young – but the other Langurs also rejected the infant. 

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Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.30.08 AMPhoto Credit: San Diego Zoo

“Infants need to nurse every few hours in order to stay healthy,” said Mindy Settles, primate keeper at the San Diego Zoo, adding that keepers intervened right away to feed the baby before his condition deteriorated. “Every day, we did introductions trying to pair him back with mom; and it wasn’t actually until he was over a week old—almost a week and a half old—that mom picked him up and actually held him for the first time.”

Rather than remove Chi from the troop and hand-rear the baby in the nursery away from his family, keepers decided to use assisted-rearing techniques. Because the animal care staff has established a bond of trust with the Langurs, the troop allows keepers to remove Chi for feedings, then accepts him when he returns to the troop. This allows Chi to develop normal social behaviors and understand that he is a Monkey, not a human, and hopefully breed one day with a female.

“I can’t stress enough how amazing this opportunity is for us,” said Jill Andrews, animal care manager for primates at the San Diego Zoo. “The amount of cooperation between the Monkeys and the keepers for the care of this 7-week-old infant is, frankly, astonishing. He is way ahead of the curve.”

Francois’ langurs are a species of Old World Monkey native to Asia—ranging from southwestern China to northeastern Vietnam. The species is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, due to a 50 percent decline in their population over the past 30 years. Hunting to supply body parts for traditional folk medicines is a primary reason for their diminished numbers. Habitat loss and fragmentation due to agricultural development has also had a negative effect on the population.