Cute And Rare Newborn Monkey Now Accepted By Siblings

Story ByKoen BerghuisSub EditorMichael LeidigAgencyCEN

Video Credit: CEN/Tiergarten Schoenbrunn

This adorable newborn Colombus monkey at the world’s oldest zoo has finally been fully accepted by its siblings after an initially frosty reception.

The king colobus (Colobus polykomos) baby named Makeni was born in Schoenbrunn Zoo, considered to be the world’s oldest, in the Austrian capital Vienna on 30th March.

However, not every family member was too eager to welcome the newborn colobus monkey, a species of Old World monkey that is classified as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Pictures Credit: CEN

According to zookeeper Nadine Brauer, Makeni’s siblings had mixed reactions to their mother Kwaku now devoting most of her time to the new baby.

Brauer said: “Her big sister Mali was very interested from the first moment. She also tried to take the baby from her mother Kwaku to take care of her.

Makeni’s older brother Togo was however not too pleased with the family addition.

Brauer said: “One-year-old Togo was initially sceptical and watched the new family member from afar. However, that has changed quickly and he now cuddles his mother and sister in the meanwhile.”

Makeni is growing up fast according to Brauer, who said the baby monkey is in healthy shape.

Pictures Credit: CEN/Daniel Zupanc & CEN/Tiergarten Schoenbrunn & CEN/Tiergarten Schoenbrunn-Norbert Potensky

Brauer said: “As we zookeepers have a very close relationship with our fosterlings, I was immediately able to go to the monkeys in the enclosure to check from up close and see if everything was alright with the newborn.”

The zookeeper said that Makeni made a “very lively impression right from the beginning”. The colobus baby is already seen playing with some twigs, chewing on leaves and exploring the enclosure even though she still spends a lot of time under the protection of her mother.

Brauer said: “When the monkeys come together to sleep together, each time you can see how Makeni begins to explore her surroundings. She also likes to climb on her father Harper.”

According to Schoenbrunn Zoo, the birth of little Makeni is an important affair.

Zoo director Dagmar Schratter previously said: “The king colobus is threatened in the wild because of the destruction of rainforests in West Africa.

“There are only a few of them in zoos so we are overjoyed by this birth.” 

Makeni currently has white fur with dark patches around its eyes, which is normal with newborns.

They typically grow black fur at around four months old.

The king colobus lives in small groups of three to four females and up to three males plus their offspring.

They eat leaves, fruits and flowers which they consume on the ground despite mostly living in trees.