Newborn Titi Monkey at Lincoln Park Zoo
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Just one day after the horrific incident in Ohio, where 49 exotic animals were killed, the Lincoln Park Zoo has announced a reason to celebrate.
This past Monday, October 17, the zoo welcomed a newborn Bolivian gray titi monkey into its midst. The baby, who has yet to be named, is one of 50 titi monkeys in accredited zoos. It has seven full-blooded brothers and sisters from mom, Delasol (pronounced De-luh-soul), and dad, Ocala (pronounced Oh-cah-luh).
Zookeepers also don't know what sex the new baby is. Lincoln Park Zoo spokesperson Tiffany Ruddle said that's simply because no one has been able to get close enough.
"The parents are rather possessive and protective of the baby at this stage and [the zookeepers] don't want to interfere with that. They just kind of stand back till they can catch a glimpse, if you will."
Maureen Leahy, Lincoln Park's curator of primates, points out that Delasol, at 20 years and five months, is the oldest Bolivian gray titi monkey on record to have given birth. She adds, "The newborn's father and older siblings are already pitching in," proving that titi monkey populations are incredibly progressive: they mate for life and share the responsibilities of parenthood with the whole family. Within a few days of birth, babies will primarily be carried by their father, who circles them back to mom for nursing. Siblings will also take shifts.
It should also be noted that titi monkeys only live till their early 20s; so this event is the equivalent of a 70-year-old human giving birth.
Titi monkeys are very social and are known for sitting close to each other and intertwining their tails together while perched on branches, both when they are awake and asleep.