ST. LOUIS – A male monkey was born at the Saint Louis Zoo last month, but the announcement was made Tuesday.
The baby Guereza colobus monkey named Ficus was born on March 21. His siblings are Juniper, Willow, Hawthorn, and Teak. Ficus is the first monkey born at the zoo since the 35,000 square foot Primate Canopy Trails expansion opened in the summer of 2021.
The zoo said the birth of Ficus means they now have a family of nine at the zoo. It’s the largest group they’ve ever had. His mother is Cecelia, 22. The mother of seven is the dominant female in the group of five males and four females. The zoo said Cecelia is “taking great care of her newborn.” The father is 16-year-old Kima.
The zoo said colobus babies are born with all white hair and a pink face while adults are mostly black.
“The older siblings are learning necessary behaviors for becoming great mothers or fathers one day,” primate keeper at the Zoo Brooke Johnson said. “One-year-old Juniper is learning how to share her mom with her new baby brother and is incredibly curious yet very gentle with him. Big sisters Binti (8) and Willow (6) continue to be great babysitters and can be seen frequently holding their baby brother while mom Cecelia finds food or enjoys a grooming session from dad Kima or one of her sons. Ficus is already very adventurous, practicing his walking away from Mom and watching his older siblings chase and play. It won’t be long until he’s joining them!”
Click here for a video of Ficus.