It's a boy!
The newest member of the Colobus monkey tribe at the Saint Louis Zoo is baby Simon, born at the Primate House on December 30.
Simon lives at the zoo with his mother, Cecelia, who is 16 years old; his father, Kima, 9 years old; his sister, Kivuli, 2 years old, his grandmother, Roberta, 27 years old, and his aunts, Pili, 2 years old, and Binti, 1 year old.
"A new infant is always the focus of so much excitement and attention for the family," says Joe Knobbe, zoological manager of primates at the Saint Louis Zoo in a statement.
"It's important for everyone to have a role in the care of the newborn. Older sister Kivuli has taken particular interest in her new baby brother and is often seen holding or even carrying him. She's learning important skills that will help her become a great mother, too, someday."
A video released by the zoo shows the curious monkey family gathering around its newest addition. Sister Kivuli babysits, picking Simon up when he tries to waddle away from her, and mom Cecelia gently disciplines aunty Pili for swatting at the baby: All-white baby Simon will grow into his black-and-white coat in about five months. Black-and-white Colobus monkeys, a threatened species found in the forests of east and central Africa, grow a distinctive, cape-like mantle of long white hair on their shoulders and backs. The monkeys adapt to their low-calorie leaf diet with a lowered energy level and a sacculated stomach that ferments bacteria.
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