The Angolan Colobus monkeys at the San Diego Zoo welcomed a new member to the family this week.
The baby boy, which has not been named, was born earlier this month. Zookeepers say the baby is healthy and doing well.
As he grows up, he will be raised by different members of the group – a unique behavioral trait for the monkeys called alloparenting.
Each monkey, including the father Milo, will take turns holding the infant and even feeding him, if a female is lactating.
“Our breeding male, Milo, has a wonderful, calm personality,” said Jill Andrews, animal care manager for primates at the San Diego Zoo, in a statement. “He has actively participated in parenting from time to time, including holding this new infant, and that is a remarkable quality.”
Biologists believe the all-white coat of the new baby allows the monkeys to easily see their young and prompts them to assist in raising them.
Within six months, the baby’s coat will turn white and black and he will look like the rest of the adults.
Angolan Colobus monkeys are a large subfamily of Old World monkeys living in the primary and secondary forests of central Africa. The monkeys live in large familial groups. Though their population numbers are stable, the animals face threats from hunting, logging and habitat destruction.
San Diego Zoo guests looking for the new baby and his extended family can find them in their habitat along Monkey Trail.