Niabi Zoo on Friday announced the birth of “Bitinze,” an Eastern Black and White Colobus monkey.
These monkeys are found in the woodlands of tropical Africa and these strikingly colored primates are favorites among zoo visitors, Niabi director Lee Jackson said in a Friday release.
Bitinze is a male and was born on May 9, 2022. His parents are new mom Kenna, and Tuli, Niabi’s 16-year-old male.
All Baby Black and White Colobus start life completely white, the zoo said. After about three weeks, patches of dark hair start to appear. It takes about three months for the babies to fully take on the coloration of mom and dad.
The eight individuals at Niabi are an important part of North American breeding population, currently made up of only 170 monkeys, the release said. Niabi Zoo partners with more than 50 other zoos in the U.S. and Canada to manage the breeding of this species in a program called the Black and White Colobus SSP (Species Survival Plan).
“This cooperative breeding program helps not only assure that these beautiful animals will be here for zoo visitors to be inspired by, but also serves as an assurance colony in the event reintroductions into the wild are ever needed,” Jackson said. ‘The Niabi Zoo’s success with this species has made it an important contributor to this program, and we look forward to continued success with this species.”