The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby black and white colobus monkey, the first to be born in 12 years at the zoo. The female baby was born on September 25.
The infant, named Kaasidy, and her mother, Jibini, went outdoors into their exhibit for the first time late this morning in the African Journey. The baby’s father is named Finnigan.
Colobus babies are covered in white fur. At 3-4 months of age, they develop the deep black coat, shaggy white mantle, and tufted white tail typical of adult colobus monkeys.
Jibini is a first-time mother, so zoo keepers have been watching carefully to make certain she is caring for her baby.
For now, Kaasidy can be seen clinging to her mother’s belly, though in a few weeks she’ll begin to climb about. However, to protect the baby, the monkeys will only be allowed access to their outdoor exhibit when the outdoor temperature is above 60 degrees.
Colobus monkeys are native to Africa’s equatorial forests, where they spend nearly all of their time in trees feeding on fruits, leaves, and other vegetation. Some populations are threatened due to habitat loss and hunting for their dramatic black-and-white coat. To maintain a genetically healthy zoo population of colobus monkeys, they are cooperatively managed by the Species Survival Plan (SSP) program of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo closes for the season on Sunday, October 14. Portions of the zoo will be open during the Wild Zoo Halloween, beginning October 19, but the African Journey will not be open during the Wild Zoo Halloween.