Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Birth of Colobus Monkey


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., March 5, 2009 — Walt Disney World Resort recently welcomed a black and white colobus monkey – the first of its species born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The infant arrived February 17 after a six-month gestation and may be seen along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail with a group of five other colobus monkeys.

While the weight, size and gender are still unknown, animal care experts are encouraged by the amount of care given by first-time mother, Kabibi. “The baby was born looking healthy and vigorous,” said Rebecca Phillips, a primate manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “We’re encouraged that the mother and baby seem to be adapting well.”

At birth, colobus monkeys are covered in white fur that is gradually replaced with black hair matching the adults. The monkeys are distinguished by their black body and white shoulders, backs and beard. The monkeys stand between 18- and 27-inches tall and weigh approximately 12 to 32 pounds. Unlike most primates, the colobus do not have thumbs, although they have long tails that help them navigate through the forest quickly.

Kabibi came to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2008 as part the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan, which manages genetic diversity among species through detailed records of individual animals. Disney’s Animal Kingdom also participates in AZA Species Survival Plans for several other animals, including elephants, cotton-top tamarins and okapi.

Currently, approximately 65 colobus monkeys exist in AZA-accredited facilities around the United States.

Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

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