Late in the evening on September 4 the Sacramento Zoo’s Wolf’s guenon family welcomed a new addition. Zookeepers had been monitoring the mother closely prior to the expected birth. Staff will continue to monitor the entire family group to ensure that the infant is receiving all the care that it needs from mom. The gender is unknown at this time. Wolf’s guenons are listed as a Vulnerable species.
Mimi, the mother, was born at the San Diego Zoo in 2007 and Eddie, the father, was born at the San Antonio Zoo in 1995. This is their third offspring. The first Zuri, was born in 2013 and Kaci was born in 2016. As with any new baby this latest addition will shift the social dynamics and give the older siblings the opportunity to learn valuable parenting skills from their mother.
Wolf’s guenons are native to central Africa where they inhabit dense forests and forage for fruits, seeds and an occasional insect. Forming loose family groups in the wild, these monkeys are even known to spend time with other primate species including bonobos, colobus monkeys and other guenon species. A larger mixed-species group may mean that there are more eyes on the lookout for predators, and many guenons have learned to recognize other monkeys’ alarm calls so that they know how to respond correctly if a neighbor spots a leopard or eagle.
Not a lot is known about this species in the wild so each birth, including this one, adds to our overall knowledge of this species, their biology, social interactions, developmental stages and more. The nonprofit Sacramento Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan® program for the Wolf’s guenon species. The main focus of this plan is captive breeding and educational awareness to prevent the extinction of this species.
In the video below you can see the one-day-old infant clinging to mom’s belly.