Jabula and Sukari have a new baby. The tiny girl looks like an old man with her grey hair and ancient face, and staff considered naming her after the reverse aging Benjamin Button until her sex was discovered. Most monkeys live on the ground, reaching up into trees and grabbing food with their opposable thumbs. The name “colobus” is derived from the Greek word for “mutilated,” because unlike other monkeys, colobus monkeys do not have thumbs. They dwell high in the canopy of forests in Africa and Asia, jumping up and down on branches like a trampoline before lifting off with leaps of up to 50 feet. The crazy fringe of white cape hair and long tail are thought act as a parachute during the jumps.
Jabula, 8, and old man Sukari, 21, arrived at the 400 acre wildlife preserve about 2 years ago from the Fresno Zoo. Their baby will start to change color in about a month, and at three months she will resemble her black-and-white parents. The staff at Safari West watched the newborn and mom most of the day, worrying like mothers whether Jabula would drop her newborn from branches high in the enclosure or if she was nursing enough after the ordeal. So far everyone is healthy and safe. I’ll update photos as she grows over the next few months.