Baby joy for monkeys that pri-mate for life!
Wednesday 13 February 2008
A tiny monkey born to ZSL London Zoo’s most romantic lovers is the first baby to be born in the Zoo’s new rainforest biome.
Vale the red titi monkey was born in January to mum Yara and dad Thiago – two monogamous monkeys so loved-up they regularly sleep with their tails entwined.
The Zoo has chosen the week of Valentine’s Day to announce the birth, after giving the baby a few weeks to get used to his amazing home in the Clore Rainforest Lookout.
The titi monkeys live in the rainforest biome with silvery marmosets, sloths, tortoises, golden-headed lion tamarins, pygmy marmosets, sun bitterns, and other exotic birds.
Vale spent the first few weeks of life clinging on to mum’s back, but is now beginning to leave her for short periods to investigate curious branches, fascinating leaves and his wild housemates.
Despite the thrill of Vale being the first animal born in the new exhibit, the timing couldn’t have been more exasperating.
Mum Yara gave birth just 16 hours after the completion of Zoo’s annual stocktake – when every animal is counted. Keepers had suspected Yara was pregnant, but animals live in the rainforest enclosure as naturally as possible and staff only intervene when necessary. It means Vale won’t appear on the “official” stock list for another year!
ZSL’s Curator of Mammals, Malcolm Fitzpatrick, said: “This birth proves that Clore Rainforest Lookout really is a great enclosure for the animals, allowing them to behave and breed naturally. We are all delighted to see Vale zipping around the indoor forest on Yara’s back.”
Red titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus) are New World monkeys found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. They are an arboreal species that live in the lower canopy of the rainforest and rarely come to ground. They are monogamous and live in groups of two to four and feed on fruit, leaves and insects.
You can see Vale in the Clore Rainforest Lookout in the video below.