Summer Brings Baby Animals at the Zoo
A snow-white monkey, a tiny crane and a batch of baby rattlers are just a few of the Zoo’s newest arrivals.
Summer 2017 has brought births for Zoo Atlanta primates, birds and reptiles. Animal babies include an Angolan colobus, a blue crane and a group of sidewinder rattlesnakes.
An Angolan colobus infant was born July 15, 2017, to parents Lami and George. Angolan colobus monkeys are born pure white, developing their parents’ coloration when they are around 3 months old. Adults are recognizable by their long, glossy black fur and white mantles and whiskers.
The newborn will not lack playmates when it’s old enough to join in the fun; older sister Orlando is just over a year old, and half-sister Kito will be 1 in August. The family group, which also includes adult females Adanna and Kinshasa, lives in one of the Zoo’s Monkeys of Makokou habitats in The Ford African Rain Forest. The mixed-species complex is also home to Schmidt’s guenons and drills.
While not currently classified as endangered, Angolan colobus populations face increasing threats in their native Africa. Like many other Old World monkey species, they are subject to habitat loss and hunting for the bushmeat trade.
A blue crane chick hatched July 8, 2017. The chick was produced via artificial insemination conducted by Zoo Atlanta staff and is the first offspring of the Zoo’s blue crane pair. Both adults are displaying appropriate parental behaviors and are protective of their new arrival, who does not yet display its parents’ bluish-grey coloration. The chick can be seen with its parents in the blue crane habitat adjacent to the Outback Station petting zoo.
Also known as the Stanley crane, the blue crane is the national bird of South Africa. Although the species is protected, wild populations have declined dramatically as a result of urbanization, collection for the pet trade and poisoning by farmers who consider the birds crop pests.
Six sidewinders were born on May 24, 2017. Like many pitviper species, but unlike many other reptiles, female sidewinders remain with their young for a period of time. Following their first shed cycle, the youngsters disperse on their own. The sidewinders currently live in the Zoo’s Conservation Breeding Center, a behind-the-scenes complex adjacent to Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience.
A North American native found in the Mohave and Sonoran Deserts of the southwestern U.S., the sidewinder is known for its unique form of locomotion and is the fastest-moving of all rattlesnakes. A research collaboration between Zoo Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University has examined the snakes’ distinctive movements for biologically-inspired design of prototypes for search-and-exploration robots. Learn more at zooatlanta.org/research.