Support the local press. Unlock unlimited digital access to floridatoday.com Click here and sign up today.
Brevard Zoo welcomed the first-ever birth of a black howler monkey in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Brevard Zoo said in a statement posted on its website Saturday morning.
The unnamed baby, whose gender is unknown, was born to mother Bea, 13, and father, Stormi, 18, with the arrival of the little one, there are now seven monkeys in the group, with long-time resident Maddie, 22, and three females – Bennie and Batata The Beatle – those under the age of 10 came to the zoo last year.
Their mother Bia arrived with them to the zoo.
Black bear cub at Brevard Zoo:An orphaned black bear cub finds its home at Brevard Zoo; He’ll join two other bears when he’s older
Cuties of Texas join the zoo:Two white-nosed babies from Texas join forces of five at Brevard Zoo
Zoo officials said the new monkey, who was the sixth offspring of Baia, was a surprise. They knew that Stormy was born with Baya in the fall, but they weren’t sure if she was pregnant. So far, both the baby and the mother seem to be in good health.
“We observed the baby while he was breast feeding,” said Michelle Ferguson, supervisor of the zoo’s rainforest detection division, in a post on the zoo’s website. “The baby seems to be strong because he is holding his mother. Baya was naturally taking extra food from her nurturer.”
The baby, who was born with blonde hair, like all little howler monkeys (females remain blond, but males turn black as they mature), is expected to be cared for by his mother for about 12 months, as usual, zoo officials said. After this period, the child is expected to continue living with his mother and family. She currently lives with Baya in the Rainforest Revealed section of the zoo.
The breeding of many of the zoo’s howler monkeys is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, which helps manage animal populations at AZA-accredited zoos. I recommend Bennie, Beatle and Baya to mate with Stormy through their Species Survival Plan to help ensure a healthy, genetically diverse population.
Black howler monkeys, which are native to South American countries such as Brazil and Paraguay, are considered a threatened species due to agricultural development destroying their habitat, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo. It is also caught and used as bait in traps, although not in large quantities.
The zoo staff is currently keeping an eye on the Beatle, as she was also born with Stormy.
Support the local press. Subscribe today.