Zoo keeper Jess Brinneman found a delightful surprise when she arrived at work on April 22 (Earth Day). Jibini the colobus monkey had just given birth!
Brinneman describes that morning, “I walked into the monkey building and found Jibini holding her new baby. It was a big surprise. It appeared as though she had just given birth. I called our area manager and she notified our animal curator and vet staff. We had been observing her for signs of pregnancy but hadn’t confirmed anything yet.”
Zoo staff suspected that Jibini could be pregnant and had been monitoring her for weight gain but hadn’t observed anything significant. They did, however, notice a couple of diet changes that may have been pregnancy-related. “She has been eating more kale than usual for the past two months,” states Brinneman, “and I noticed that for the first time she preferred peanuts over grapes, but we didn’t observe any clear signs of pregnancy prior to her delivery.”
The baby, a female, is Jibini’s third offspring. Jibini’s other daughter and son, Kaasidy and Obi, were born at the zoo and live with Jibini and adult male colobus Finnigan. Zoo keepers were aware of Jibini’s two previous pregnancies prior to delivery.
Jibini is nursing and caring for her infant, allowing zoo keepers to take a hands-off approach. All of the colobus monkeys, including the new baby, will go out onto exhibit together soon – possibly as early as next week.
Click on the photos to enlarge:
Zoo babies are sponsored by Lutheran Children’s Hospital.