The Binder Park Zoo has a new member of the family. A Colobus monkey was born at the zoo early Saturday (October 31st) morning. The parents, Usi and Nairobi, don't know the baby's gender yet, so zoo officials have not named it. Binder Park Zoo officials say this is the first birth of a primate in almost five years at the zoo. In October 2015 a black mangabey monkey was born.

The Zoo says “baby monkeys are born with their eyes open and a strong grip which they need to cling to mom.” Kelsey Miller, Lead Keeper at Binder Park Zoo, says “we’re really happy that this little one is alert, appears healthy and is demonstrating a good strong grip.” Other than observing and providing basic care, standard operating procedure is that keepers maintain a “hands-off” approach with the new family, to encourage their natural parenting instincts. “Nairobi is showing that she is a calm and attentive mom to her baby and we see Usi being protective of them both – the behaviors we hope for, especially for first-timers.” said Miller.

Usi, the father, has a special place in the hearts of the Binder Park staff. “Usi didn’t necessarily have an ideal start in life. When you hand-raise an animal you develop a special affection for them, rooting for the underdog” said Kathryn Sippel, Curator of Collections.

The eastern black and white colobus or Colobus guereza are native to equatorial Africa. The name “colobus” is from the Greek word for “mutilated,” because unlike other monkeys, colobus monkeys do not have thumbs. One of only two colobus species, the other being the Angolan colobus, black and white colobus have shiny black fur and a white-framed bearded face. - Binder Park Zoo release.

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SEE MORE: Animals That Are on Michigan's Endangered Species List


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