ZSL London Zoo’s new rare monkeys top conservation list

ZSL London Zoo has welcomed two new female mangabey monkeys in a bid to boost the breeding programme for one of the world’s rarest primates.

Ankasa and Achimoto, named after the areas in Ghana where their species comes from, were both born at Dublin Zoo and moved to London as part of the European breeding programme for endangered species.

After a carefully-managed introduction process, the two girls, nicknamed Kasi and Mo, are getting along famously with the rest of the group, with dominant male Lucky taking a particular liking to Mo – who quite enjoys the flirty attention.

Considered to be one of the most endangered primates in the world, white-naped mangabeys are suffering a severe decline in the wild due to habitat loss and being hunted for bush meat.

Named today (Wednesday) as one of the top ten mammals most reliant on Zoos by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), white-naped mangabeys are part of a European breeding programme that aims to preserve a healthy population of the endangered animals.

ZSL London Zoo is at the forefront of breeding these endangered monkeys, home to one of the most successful breeding groups in Europe, and a very special male, Lucky. Born at the West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA) in Ghana, after his parents were rescued from the pet trade, Lucky’s unique genetics are very important to the breeding programme.

ZSL London Zoo’s mangabey keeper Andrea Dempsey is collaborating on a project with other zoos around the world to help encourage successful breeding elsewhere.

Kasi White Naped Mangabey
Kasi the White-Naped Mangabey

Andrea said: “These two new females are a really exciting addition to our group, and we’re really keen that they breed with our male Lucky – they’re getting on so well that we’re feeling hopeful.

“White-naped mangabeys are facing a dire situation in the wild, with their habitat being destroyed at unprecedented rates and they’re up against daily threats of being hunted. Breeding these endangered animals at ZSL London Zoo is vital to safe-guarding a future for them.

“Zoos around the world are working together as part of international breeding programmes and to support projects in the field with their expertise and fundraising. We’re able to learn more about their biology and behaviours, teach visitors about them and preserve a back-up population in a safe environment.”

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