Two Primates Born At LA Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo is pleased has announced the birth of two different primate species at the Zoo. On Dec. 5, a golden cheeked gibbon was born; on Dec. 12 a Kikuyu colobus monkey.

The golden cheeked gibbon is a species of lesser ape that inhabits the rain forests of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. The gibbon is regarded as the greatest acrobat of the animal kingdom. Its long arms (which are 40% longer than its legs) help it swing through the forest. The young gibbon is able to cling to its mother's fur unaided as she leaps and swings through the trees and ropes of her zoo home. The newborn infant is pink in color with fine golden hair. At about six months of age its pelage will change to black. Once it matures, if it is a male, its coat will remain black. A female's coat will turn gold. Gibbons live in monogamous (male/female pair) family groups.

The Kikuyu colobus monkey is one of the most striking primates in the animal kingdom. These leaf-eating monkeys are found throughout the forests of central Africa. Adult Kikuyu colobus monkeys have black bodies trimmed with long white mantles. Infant colobus are born all white and do not start to get their black trim until about three and one half months of age.

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens cooperates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for both these primate species. The SSP is a cooperative breeding and conservation program overseen by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). AZA members agree to manage and exchange animals in the best interests of the species. Currently, 107 SSPs covering 161 individual species are administered by the AZA.

Both young primates are on exhibit with their families at the LA Zoo.

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For general information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the website at

20060105isjdnknc(LA)MONKEY BUSINESS -- Kikuyu colobus monkey with baby now on display at the LA Zoo.

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