Vila has long been a favorite of visitors and staff at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park. She is one of the three oldest known gorillas living today, and we had a birthday party for her on Wednesday, October 28. We wrapped presents full of fruit, nuts, and seeds for the entire troop, and Vila enjoyed a peanut-butter frosted banana ice cake topped with carrot “candles.” The gorilla exhibit was decorated with flowers, ginger leaves, colorful streamers, and “Happy Birthday” signs stuck to rocks with peanut butter. See video
Archive for the 'Apes and Monkeys' Category
Life in the troop has certainly had an incredible impact on little Frank’s social development, but even more impressive is the impact it has had on Frank’s family. Back when Frank was born and we realized we were going to have to intervene at some level, we had many candid discussions about how best to raise this kid, without hampering his true “gorilla skills.”
The silver-leaf langur babies at the San Diego Zoo are doing very well (see previous post, Langurs: Bright Orange Babies). Tevy’s baby, born on February 26, 2009, is almost all silver with only a little bit of orange left. Adamena’s baby, born on April 13, is still mostly orange. The babies play together throughout the day. I have seen them climbing around and jumping from one branch to the next. They will swing around on branches, holding on with one hand, and hang upside down.
We have a troop of six lion-tailed macaques (one male and five females) at the San Diego Zoo. They have a beautiful habitat on the Sun Bear Trail in the Asian Passage zone. These energetic monkeys are very entertaining to watch: they love ripping boxes and bags open to see what’s inside, like opening a present. The troop likes to keep busy, so we provide enrichment for them at least three times a day.
I just wanted to update everyone on the San Diego Zoo’s Gabrielle’s crested (or red-cheeked) gibbon, Gaby, and her new roommate, Chui (see post, Gibbon: New Home for Gaby). He arrived on May 8, is seven years old, and is Gaby’s baby brother! Gaby and Chui lived with their parents and other siblings at the Wild Animal Park. When Gaby was four, she left her younger brother to come to the Zoo; now, almost five years later, they are back together again.
You may think most newborn monkeys would blend in with their mothers. However, with silver-leaf langurs it is quite the opposite: their babies are a beautiful bright orange! There are several theories as to why this is; unfortunately, it is unknown which theory is accurate.
Theory 1: It makes it easy for the mothers to find them, as young langurs like to explore. They can sometimes travel a little too far away from their mothers. Being bright orange, their mothers can easily spot and retrieve them.
Read Installment #5, Little Guenon, Big Step
By early March 2009, Gigi was making the transition to Wolf’s guenon life well. She was obviously fully accepted by devoted sister Mimi, tolerated by her stoic father, and her older brother Dru was as gentle and tolerant as we could reasonably hope for. Things were not perfectly harmonious, though. There were times when Gigi’s mom, Fifi, would show some behavior that was concerning to us.
Meet our new silver-leaf langurs! Aden, our resident male, is brave, outgoing, and adventurous. He lives with four females: Tevy, LiLi, Adamena, and Zoe. Tevy and LiLi are mature and attentive to the younger langurs; Adamena learns a lot from Tevy and LiLi; Zoe is our youngest and smallest, timid yet curious.