SCHMIDT’S GUENON BORN AT ZOO ATLANTA
First-time mom Bam adds a new arrival to the Zoo’s Monkeys of Makokou complex
ATLANTA – October 25, 2022 – Zoo Atlanta is excited to welcome the recent birth of a Schmidt’s guenon. Born on October 12, 2022, the infant, a male, is the offspring of first-time mother Bam.
Bam and the infant’s father, JJ, were recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) to breed and contribute to the viability of the Schmidt’s guenon population in accredited North American zoos. The pair shares their habitat with a large group of Angolan colobus monkeys, who also recently welcomed a new arrival: a male born to Adanna on August 24, 2022. Zoo Atlanta is now home to the largest group of Angolan colobus monkeys in human care in AZA zoos.
“Zoo Atlanta is thrilled to welcome the Schmidt’s guenon infant, and we are particularly excited to see first-time mom Bam exercising all the right maternal skills,” said Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation. “Anyone with the privilege of visiting the rainforests of central Africa might, in a perfect world, see several different monkey species, with many raising offspring. With the arrivals of Bam’s infant and Adanna’s infant, our Members and guests have the opportunity to experience that firsthand at the Zoo.”
Found in rainforests, woodlands, deciduous forests, and swamplands in middle Africa, guenons are monkeys characterized by large cheek pouches used for storing food during foraging. Also known as red-tailed monkeys, Schmidt’s guenons are distinguished by their long, chestnut-colored tails, which can be up to 35 inches long. The species also features heart-shaped noses and distinctive greyish-blue coloration around the eyes. Males weigh up to 10 pounds; females, up to 8 pounds.
Because they are found in multiple wild habitats in Africa and are numerous in some areas, Schmidt’s guenons are not currently classified as a threatened species, but they are not without their challenges. The species faces habitat loss due to deforestation – a serious threat for all African rainforest species – as well as predators such as wild cats and eagles. The illegal bushmeat trade, by which animal populations are overharvested for food by humans, is a growing challenge for many species in Africa. Sadly, the new infant’s grandmother, the mother of father JJ, was herself a victim of hunting for bushmeat.
Members and guests are encouraged to be on the lookout for both Bam’s infant and Adanna’s infant in the Monkeys of Makokou complex in the Zoo’s Ford African Rain Forest when temperatures are at or above 50 degrees. Plan a visit at zooatlanta.org.