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Yorkshire Wildlife Park welcomes adorable rare baby monkey

Written by on 02/11/2020

Yorkshire Wildlife Park have welcomed an adorable new rare baby monkey which is the first of its kind to be born in the UK.

The birth of the baby Roloway monkey at the park is a major triumph for the European breeding programme.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park primates team worked hard to introduce four-year-old Kayla and six-year-old Rafiki to each other back in February.

These Roloway monkeys are the only pair in the country

“We have been monitoring Kayla’s pregnancy very carefully ever since we noticed subtle changes in her behaviour” said Primate Team Leader Greg Clifton.

“Words cannot express how excited we are to have successful birth here at the Park so soon after Kayla and Rafiki were first introduced and especially as they are both first time parents.

“They are doing an amazing job. The rangers have been keeping a video diary of the baby day by day and we cannot believe how quickly the youngster has developed.

“After just a week the baby was already climbing off his mum to explore – under her watchful eye, of course!”

Roloway monkeys, which have striking black and white markings and a distinguished white beard, are native to Ghana and the Ivory Coast of West Africa.

But they are on the verge of extinction because of hunting and habitat loss. Typically they live in groups of 15 to 30 individuals and mainly eat fruit and insects.

The baby is the first of its kind to be born in the UK
(Image: Yorkshire Wildlife Park)

Dr. Matt Hartley, head of animals added: “This is a really important moment for the European breeding programme.

“This baby is so important for the future of the species which faces extinction every day in the wild, due to deforestation and the bush-meat trade.

“This species is one of the World’s 25 Most Endangered primates, classed as critically endangered.

“There are only about 200 Roloway monkeys left in the wild and 33 Individuals living in zoos around the world, so they face an uncertain future.

“Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s efforts to preserve one of the most endangered primate species on our planet, goes beyond Doncaster as thanks to funding from the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation, rangers from the Park will be taking part in a three year project in Ghana to support conservation efforts in the wild for this and other critically endangered African primates.”

The baby monkey has not been named yet as rangers have not been able to get close enough to determine the sex of the new arrival.