Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Zoo welcomes healthy baby monkey

Twycross Zoo welcomed a new baby De Brazza's monkey on October 24 (Twycross Zoo/PA)
Twycross Zoo welcomed a new baby De Brazza's monkey on October 24 (Twycross Zoo/PA)

Zoo-goers have gone ape for this adorable new arrival.

The as-yet unnamed new De Brazza's monkey was born on October 24 to Twycross Zoo's proud parents Ludo (mother) and Tom (father).

The baby boy is happy, healthy and already creating quite a stir among visitors at the Leicestershire zoo.

Known for being one of the most distinctive species of guenon, the newborn features a striking orange-red crescent shaped patch on the brow, and the face has a white muzzle extending into a long, white beard.

Sarah Dee, senior primate keeper, said of the new arrival: "From day one he was very alert and within a week or so he was leaving mum to explore his new surroundings.

"His adventurous nature has given our visitors a great opportunity to see the youngster at such an early age, and he's definitely winning them over with his looks." The new arrival joins a family unit with his parents and older sister Afia, and the group have bonded very well.

Ms Dee added: "Afia loves playing with her new brother and we often see her carrying him around and the two playing chase with one another.

"Ludo is an experienced and confident mum, so although she lets her newborn play she's never far behind to keep him out of mischief.

"We like to get to know the character of our newborns before we name them, but we'll be announcing his name in the coming weeks." Both mum and baby are thriving, and the new arrival is on view to the public in Twycross Zoo's open-topped monkey exhibit.

A near-threatened species, the De Brazza's monkey is never found in abundance in any part of its range, and appears to be declining in many regions.

The main threat to this species is habitat loss due to ongoing forest clearance for agriculture and timber.

In addition, De Brazza's monkey is also hunted for food, and may become increasingly targeted due to the expansion of the bushmeat trade.

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