Adorable New Baby Monkey Born At London Zoo Gives Fresh Hope For The Rare Species
Buzz was born to mum Achimoto and dad Lucky three weeks ago, but animal lovers are only getting their first glimpse of the primate now.
Staff and zookeepers named the baby Buzz in a nod to the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.
Nine-year-old Achimoto safely delivered baby Buzz following a five-and-a-half-month gestation period.
Buzz's birth brings takes the Zoo's troop to a total of eight and is a positive sign for ZSL's breeding programme, which is trying to save the species from extinction.
A hugely important addition to the European breeding programme for endangered species (EEP), mangabeys are among some of the rarest and most endangered monkeys on the planet and are only found in western Africa.
They are under threat from habitat loss and the illegal wildlife trade, including being hunted for their fur and as bushmeat.
Excellent climbers and agile jumpers with their long tails and slender limbs, mangabeys are very much at home in the trees, but white-naped mangabeys are also comfortable on the ground.
Buzz' mum Achimoto can often be seen mastering the art of multi-tasking, nursing her little one while foraging on the floor for leaves, seeds and nuts.
Team leader Daniel Simmonds said: "Buzz is an important new arrival here at the Zoo, and we hope his future is as prosperous as that of his namesake!
"Famous for their vocalisations, mangabeys have a special throat sac which they use to project their voice through the dense forest canopies - from shrieks and whoops to barks and grunts, their vocal repertoire is as varied as it is loud and helps them stay connected with their families while they forage.
"Up until now, Buzz has been tightly snuggled on mum's chest, but visitors to the zoo over the next few days are likely to see Buzz testing out his own voice and foraging skills, as he ventures small distances away from mum's arms to mimic the rest of the adults and youngsters in the troop."
Visitors can check out the new arrival and visit the mangabey troop at the Zoo's Family Festival this weekend, which takes place from Friday, 30th August to Sunday, 1st September.
Featured Image Credit: ZSL London Zoo