Gerri the Angolan colobus turns 1!
On March 8, 2018, I had the most amazing opportunity of observing the birth of our youngest Angolan colobus monkey, Gerri. I was busy feeding the monkeys their afternoon diet in their behind-the-scenes area when I noticed Lami, one of the female colobus, acting strange. We had suspected that she was pregnant, so I called my supervisor to come take a look. After a couple minutes of watching, we noticed what looked like contractions every few minutes; she would go from lying on her side to standing and stretching, then lying back down again. We were both very excited to be able to witness the birth and even stayed a little late to make sure we didn’t miss anything! After about an hour of labor, Gerri was born to mother Lami and father George!
Gerri is a special colobus for several different reasons. First, he was the first male Angolan colobus born at Zoo Atlanta and is the only male in the group besides his father, George. Gerri was the first colobus birth that a Zoo Atlanta team member was able to witness. Typically, the females have given birth at some point over the night and we are greeted with a healthy infant in the morning. And finally, Gerri was named in memory of a beloved Zoo Atlanta team member.
Now it is one year later, and Gerri is running around his habitat and playing with his older sisters! He is still the smallest colobus in the group, but that certainly won’t last long. His most recent weight was around 5 pounds, so he still has a lot of growing to do to reach George’s weight at 40 pounds! Gerri has also quickly caught onto his training. He currently knows how to target (touch his hand to a care team member’s closed fist) and is learning to stand and present his belly!
Make sure to stop by Zoo Atlanta and visit Gerri and the rest of the colobus monkeys (we have eight)! They live with the Schmidt’s guenons in the Monkeys of Makokou habitat in The Ford African Rain Forest. You’re sure to see him running and playing with the other colobus, chasing Gus (the 3-year-old Schmidt’s guenon) or taking a nap with his mother, Lami.
Keeper II, Primates
(Photo by Morgan Yokosuk)