This endangered baby monkey is about to meet zoo visitors for the first time after carers managed to save her life following the unexpected death of her mother.
The baby king colobus monkey (Colobus polykomos), listed as ‘vulnerable’ in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), was born at Schoenbrunn Zoo, the world’s oldest zoo, located in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Tragically, the youngster named Nafana only had a fortnight with her mother Kwaku before she caught a bacterial infection and died, leaving the baby orphaned.
The zookeepers decided to name her Nafana after a town in West Africa in reference to her species’ natural distribution.
The little monkey, also known as a western-black-and-white colobus, was born on 2nd November last year.
Although not yet out of danger, keepers say she has been doing really well and is now up to the challenge of meeting visitors for the first time as the zoo reopened this week.
The king colobus species is an Old World monkey naturally found in lowlands and mountain rain forests in western Africa.
Zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck says: ‘Despite receiving the best veterinary treatment, unfortunately, we were unable to save Kwaku.
‘Fortunately, she (Nafana) spent the most important first phase with her mother and was fed with her mother’s colostrum milk, which helps build up the immune system.’
The baby monkey had no one else to rely on other than the zookeeping team. Luckily, they were able to help despite the infant’s difficult start.
Hering-Hagenbeck said: ‘Adult colobus monkeys are leaf eaters. Nafana is still fed with milk, according to her age, but she is already eating leaves. She particularly enjoys cherry, willow and ash leaves.’
‘At the moment Nafana is fed at the back to not be distracted by other family members and so she can eat in peace. As soon as she can eat independently, she will join the group.’