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Monkey baby boom at Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 11:22 pm

The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is celebrating the birth of two colobus monkeys that were born two days apart in late January.

Zookeepers knew both females were pregnant, but they didn't expect the babies to arrive so close together – Jan. 26 and 28, a zoo news release said.

The babies, which have not been named yet, both are doing well, as are the mothers, the news release said.

“The newborns are clinging tightly to their respective mothers, just like they should," Dr. Kami Fox, the zoo's veterinary intern, said in the news release. "The keepers have witnessed them nursing frequently as well.”

As long as babies and mothers continue doing well, zookeepers and the zoo veterinary staff will let the mothers take full care of their babies, Fox said.

One baby is a boy, but zookeepers haven't had the opportunity to check the gender of the other baby, the news release said.

The zoo's male colobus monkey, Finnigan, is the father of both babies, the news release said. The mothers are Jibini and Wamblenica. Finnigan and Jibini also are parents of 1-year-old daughter Kaasidy.

Colobus monkeys are born with all white fur. They develop the monkey's usual black-and-white fur pattern and tufted white tail as they grow older.

In the wild, the monkeys live in the the rain forests of central and eastern Africa, the news release said. Their future is threatened by habitat destruction.

At the Fort Wayne zoo, they live indoors until it is warm enough for them to move to their outdoor exhibit in the African Journey area.