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Baby colobus monkey born at Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Mom and baby on exhibit for first time today.

Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 2:50 pm

A baby colobus monkey born Sept. 25 at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo got her first taste of the outdoors late this morning when she and her mother were allowed to go into their outdoor exhibit in the African Journey area.

The baby, which is named Kaasidy (pronounced KASS-i-dee), is the first colobus monkey born at the zoo in 12 years, a zoo news release said.

She also is the first baby for her mother, Jibini, so zookeepers are watching mom closely to make sure she takes good care of her baby, the news release said. The father is Finnigan.

Colobus monkeys are black and white, with a tufted white tail. Babies, however, are covered in white fur until about age 2 to 3 months, the news release said.

When the colobus monkeys are outside, visitors likely will see Kaasidy holding on to her mother's belly, the news release said. She probably will begin climbing around on her own in a few weeks.

To protect her, however, the colobus monkeys will be allowed into their exhibit only when the outdoor temperature is above 60 degrees, the news release said.

In the wild, colobus monkeys live in Africa's equatorial forests. They spend nearly all of their time in trees, where they eat fruit, leaves and other vegetation, the news release said.

Colobus monkeys are threatened in some areas because of habitat loss and being hunted for their black-and-white fur, the news release said. To maintain a genetically healthy zoo population, zoo breeding of colobus monkeys is managed by the Species Survival Plan (SSP) program of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, 3411 Sherman Blvd. in Franke Park, is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Oct. 14.

Admission is $13.50, adults; $10.50, seniors age 60 and older; $8.50, ages 2-14; and free, ages 1 and younger and Zoo Society members.

The zoo will reopen Oct. 19 for the Wile Zoo Halloween, but the African Journey area won't be open to the public.