Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Zoo Celebrates Birth Of A Colobus Monkey

colobus monkey babyIt's just 5 days old, but Hogle Zoo's newest bundle of joy is already anxious to explore its Salt Lake home.

The newborn colobus monkey tries to wiggle away from mom Toledo, swipes mom's arm and watches big sister Macari play.

Saturday, inside her primate forest, Toledo gave birth to her fifth baby — a child she conceived with dad Henry. Zookeepers came into work that morning to find the little white fur ball clinging to mom.

Trying to make the process as natural and true to the wild as possible, zookeepers will not provide veterinary care or training for the little monkey until it is 6 months to 1 year old. They have not even gotten close enough to determine the sex.

"Right now, there's no reason to interfere with the bond mom and baby have created," said Kalyn McKenzie, a primate keeper at Hogle. "We don't have to do anything because it has a really good mom."

Adds zoo spokeswoman Holly Braithwaite: "That's totally how it is in nature. We don't want the keepers to get in and interfere with those early moments. It's crucial for mom and baby."

Zookeepers can tell the baby, which hasn't been named, is healthy because it is nursing and holding onto Toledo's chest. Although tired, Toledo is an excellent mom. Tuesday, Toledo munched on carrots, crawled around her exhibit and seemed unfazed as her newest addition nursed.

Story here.

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