A baby monkey born at ZSL London Zoo has been named after astronaut Buzz Aldrin, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the world-famous moon landing.
One of the world’s rarest primates, the three-week-old white naped mangabey was born to nine-year-old mum Achimoto after a five and a half-month gestation period. Fathered by dominant male Lucky, Buzz takes the Zoo’s troop to a total of eight.
A hugely important addition to the European breeding programme for endangered species (EEP), mangabeys are among some of the rarest and most endangered monkeys on the planet and are only found in western Africa. They are under threat from habitat loss and the illegal wildlife trade, including being hunted for their fur and as bushmeat.
Excellent climbers and agile jumpers with their long tails and slender limbs, mangabeys are very much at home in the trees, but white-naped mangabeys are also comfortable on the ground. Buzz’ mum Achimoto can often be seen mastering the art of multi-tasking, nursing her little one while foraging on the floor for leaves, seeds and nuts.
Team leader Daniel Simmonds said: “Buzz is an important new arrival here at the Zoo, and we hope his future is as prosperous as that of his namesake!
“Famous for their vocalisations, mangabeys have a special throat sac which they use to project their voice through the dense forest canopies – from shrieks and whoops to barks and grunts, their vocal repertoire is as varied as it is loud and helps them stay connected with their families while they forage.
“Up until now, Buzz has been tightly snuggled on mum’s chest, but visitors to the Zoo over the next few days are likely to see Buzz testing out his own voice and foraging skills, as he ventures small distances away from mum’s arms to mimic the rest of the adults and youngsters in the troop.”
Visitors can check out the new arrival and visit the mangabey troop at the Zoo’s Family Festival this weekend. Taking place from Friday 30 August to Sunday 1 September, the London Zoo Summer Family Festival promises a chilled weekend jam-packed with entertainment for every generation to enjoy - at no extra cost than a standard zoo ticket.
Featuring fantastical storytelling sessions, creative arts and crafts and a chance to get young brains back into gear with a unique Zoo gameshow, ZSL London Zoo is the perfect place to celebrate the last weekend of the summer holidays. Beat the queues at the gate and save 10% by booking online!