LA zoo officials announce contest to name baby monkey
The surprise birth of a baby monkey at the Los Angeles Zoo has led to a contest to name the newborn primate, zoo officials said today.The snowy white Kikuyu colobus monkey was born Nov. 27 to a mother who had been on contraceptives. Gender has yet to be determined, but officials said it weighed about a pound and was about eight inches long. Through Jan. 11, zoo visitors can enter a contest to name the baby monkey. Results will be announced Jan. 18, with the winner receiving a free behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo for up to six people.
Found in the forests of central Africa, adult Kikuyu colobus monkeys have black bodies trimmed with long white mantles. Infants are pure white when born but begin to grow black fur at around three and a half months. The zoo had put the mother on contraceptives to keep her from breeding because several zoos across North America already house the same species.
Jason Jacobs, the zoo's public relations director, explained "we don't want to be irresponsible and breed primates if we don't have a home for them.'' He called the birth "a nice surprise'' and added the zoo will keep the baby monkey for now. Kikuyu colobus monkeys live in highly cohesive social groups so the baby monkey is enjoying attention from its father, mother and another adult female. Their exhibit is located just past the zoo's Mahale Cafe. Visitors can also check out Reindeer Romp — an exhibit of what the zoo calls "Santa's reindeer'' — through Jan. 3, and the zoo's first-ever ice skating rink will be open through Jan. 10.