On the 3rd of November staff at Africa Alive! were overjoyed to find a very welcome addition to the parks small group of golden-bellied mangabeys. This rare primate is endemic to the Democratic Republic of the Congo where it can be found south of the Congo River. Very little is known about this species in the wild, however, whilst information on its population status is limited, it appears to be very patchily distributed across its range, and with major threats including hunting (both for meat and the pet trade) and the risk from localised habitat loss, the population is decreasing and it is thought to be endangered.
Parents Lunda and Edward, arrived from Zoo Wuppertal in Germany and Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent in 2015. Neither have ever bred before, so this baby, named Nugget by the keepers, is extremely important to the small captive population and being Lunda’s first baby, we are thrilled that she is proving to be a very good mother. At birth, the head is black and the skin is pale. A gold band appears across the forehead, and, over the next few months, the gold colour moves back over the head creating adult coloration.
There are very few zoos within Europe that keep this species, so this is yet another important addition to the park and will play a crucial role in assisting with the European breeding programme for this species.