Mangabey mummy’s boy
Friday 30 April 2010
Every mum loves a hug and when your son is extremely rare, its all the more special.
ZSL London Zoo’s white-naped mangabey mum Bella shows the world just how much she adores son Paddy, who was born in October last year.
Zookeeper Andrea Payne said: “Bella is a fantastic mum and we’re all really pleased with her. Both her and dad Lucky are very hands on, protective parents and have built a very close family. Even older brother Luca, who’s only two himself, can often be seen carrying his baby brother around.
“White-naped mangabeys are one of the most endangered species of primate in the world, so our breeding group are all the more important.”
Shy Paddy is just starting to find his feet within the Zoo’s group of mangabeys. Unlike outgoing Luca, Paddy is still not quite sure of keepers yet and tries to keep his distance.
Andrea added: “The first six moths are crucial for Paddy’s development as mangabeys learn to be independent very quickly. After only a week they start to wriggle off mum and begin learning important agility skills such as jumping, climbing and swinging. But Paddy’s always got mum not far away to pick him up if he doesn’t quite make it.”
Paddy’s birth is yet another breeding success for the Zoo. The mangabeys, whose purpose-built enclosure is part of the Gorilla Kingdom exhibit, have doubled their numbers since opening in March 2007.
With only a few white-naped mangabey monkeys left struggling for survival in the wild after deforestation and hunting has decimated their populations, each individual monkey is incredibly precious.