Zoo keepers are celebrating the birth of a king colobus monkey. The monkey was born at Paignton Zoo in Devon on Saturday with father Martin and mother Ivy. It is currently pure white but will begin to develop black markings aged one month.
King colobus monkeys are listed as a vulnerable species which weigh less than 1kg at birth. It mainly eats leaves but also fruits and flowers which are fermented and digested in their unusually large stomachs. It also eats on the ground. Using their four long fingers of each forelimb to grasp branches like hooks and spend their lives in the tree tops. A single youngster is born after a gestation of around 180 days.
They are listed as endangered species and classed as vulnerable of the IUCN. King Colobus monkey has reduced its number because of habitat destruction and bushmeat hunting and even killed by birds of prey and leopards.
They live of up to 30 years and produce one baby once a year and is completely white when it is born. They darken over time until they’re completely black with a white frame to the face and the white tail. In the Zoo,they are fed with leaf eater prepared diet, carrots, seeds, vegetables and rice.
A spokesman for Paignton Zoo said: “The new arrival is important, as there are only six collections in Europe holding king colobus.”The species is listed by the IUCN as vulnerable. It is threatened by habitat destruction and hunting for food.”
They are to be checked by a vet to find out their sex at least they are six month old.
The king colobus can be distinguished from other members of the Colobus genus by the placement of its white markings in whiskers, chest, and tail, and its tail is not covered by hair.