A troop of baby Barbary macaque monkeys born in African Forest
The first baby barbary macaque monkey arrived in the African Forest on the Road Safari on the 9th May, with three more following in early June.
Born to mother Msasa, the first newborn boy was joined by a baby girl on the 2nd June, this time to mother Jade. Then, in quick succession on the 13th and 15th June, females Mwanja and Mazowe added to the troop with the births of their babies.
Barbary macaques are social animals and they tend to stay together in family groups, with the males playing a key role in the raising of the youngsters too. From spending time grooming and playing with them, to carrying the older babies on their backs, their involvement helps to ensure the safety and survival of the offspring in the wild, and gives the mums a well-earned break from carrying them on their bellies!
It will take the youngsters a few months to take on the same light brown colour that the adults have and although they began eating solids at around one week old, they won’t be fully weaned until they are around four to five months old.
Listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, the wild population of Barbary macaques is rapidly declining with the biggest threats including the illegal pet trade, habitat loss and human conflict. That makes every birth within the troop even more important.