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Zoo Atlanta welcomes new baby

Zoo Atlanta is welcoming a new addition to the Atlanta attraction.

A Schmidt’s guenon was born to mother Bam on June 1, 2024.

The infant is the second offspring for Bam and father JJ, who were recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) to breed and contribute to the viability of the Schmidt’s guenon population in accredited North American zoos.

“Zoo Atlanta is thrilled to welcome the Schmidt’s guenon infant. Unlike many other African rainforest animals, Schmidt’s guenons are not currently classified as threatened, but the challenges they face in the wild are the same as those faced by other species,” said Gina Ferrie, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation. “We look forward to watching this infant grow and help us tell that story, and we are excited for this new individual to support the growing AZA population.”

Found in rainforests, woodlands, deciduous forests, and swamplands in middle Africa, guenons are monkeys characterized by large cheek pouches used for storing food during foraging. Also known as red-tailed monkeys, Schmidt’s guenons are distinguished by their long, chestnut-colored tails, which can be up to 35 inches long. The species also features heart-shaped noses and distinctive greyish-blue coloration around the eyes. Males weigh up to 10 pounds; females, up to 8 pounds.

The wild Schmidt’s guenon population is stable, largely due to the fact that the species is found in multiple wild habitats in Africa. The species does, however, face habitat loss due to deforestation – a serious threat for all African rainforest species. The illegal bushmeat trade, by which animal populations are overharvested for food by humans, is a growing challenge for many species in Africa and is an issue close to home for the Schmidt’s guenon family at Zoo Atlanta. The infant’s father, JJ, was orphaned in the wild when his mother was killed for bushmeat.

Members and guests are encouraged to be on the lookout for Bam’s infant along with sibling Flynn, born in 2022. The Schmidt’s guenon family shares their mixed-species habitat with a large group of Angolan colobus monkeys in the Zoo’s Monkeys of Makokou complex in The Ford African Rain Forest.

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