Baby monkey born at Panaewa Rainforest Zoo in Hilo

Mother Mindy cuddles her newborn Wednesday at the zoo.  Photo courtesy: Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens, Hilo, Hawaii
Mother Mindy cuddles her newborn Wednesday at the zoo. Photo courtesy: Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens, Hilo, Hawaii

An all-white colobus monkey was born at the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens on August 10, marking the first successful birth of the species at the zoo in more than two decades.

Zoo officials say the baby monkey has not yet been named because of its protective mother and the desire not to intrude, officials have not had a chance to identify the gender.

Black-and-white colobus monkeys, Colobus Guereza, are native to Africa’s equatorial forests, where they live in territorial groups ruled by a patriarch. They are herbivores, eating leaves, fruit, flowers and twigs.

After many years without a colobus monkey, the zoo added a male in June 2009.

The nonprofit Friends of the Zoo purchased Mo first and then acquired Mindy from the same Florida source in April 2012. It was hoped that the pair would mate, adding to the population of approximately 200 colobus monkeys living in zoos throughout the world.

“We’re delighted with the birth and happy to introduce the newborn to the public,” said Pam Mizuno, manager of the Pana’ewa Recreation Complex that includes an equestrian center.

The baby and its parents are on public display during operating hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Admission is free.

For more information, call 959-7224 or email panaewazoo@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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