A ghostly white monkey and a crooked-fingered lemur that only comes out after dark have both made their first appearance at ZSL London Zoo - just in time for the spookiest date on the calendar.
With eyes that would give Stephen King the shivers, the Zoo’s first ever aye-aye baby (Daubentonia madagascariensis) was born on July 1, but has emerged from its secluded nesting box for the first time this week.
Meanwhile, a young baby colobus monkey (Colobus guereza) covered head-to-toe in startling white fur, has been taken by mum Niamey into their outdoor enclosure for the first time - after being born on September 8.
Aye-ayes, a species of lemur, are unique in that they have an unusually large middle finger and are considered a harbinger of doom in their native Madagascar; legend has it that if an aye-aye points its long finger at you, death is not far away…
In reality however, the elusive lemur uses the elongated digit to forage for tasty beetle larvae from inside trees.
Across the Zoo, the five-week-old colobus monkey was born snow-white with an elderly looking face - but its coat will eventually turn jet black, and develop the iconic long fur which helps them to ‘fly’ through the branches of their habitat.
Zoological Manager Mark Habben said: “The birth of an aye-aye for the first time at ZSL London Zoo is a real triumph. Due to their solitary and nocturnal nature, their habits are difficult to observe - they eat, sleep, mate and even travel high up in trees.
“We’ve named this rare infant Malcolm, in honour of one of ZSL’s long-term supporters, and we’re looking forward to seeing more of the baby as it ventures out further.
“We’ll be sharing what we’ve learned from this birth with zoos around the world through the European Endangered Species Programme, to further global understanding of this Endangered lemur.
“The latest addition to our colobus troop hasn’t left mum’s side long enough for us to determine its gender, but will be named after a bone in the body as is traditional for this zoo family. The youngster is a cause for celebration as these stunning monkeys face threats in the wild from habitat loss and illegal wildlife trade, including being hunted for their beautiful fur and as bushmeat.”
Boo at the Zoo will run from Saturday 22 October to Sunday 30 October with activities taking place daily between 10:30am – 3:30pm.