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Zookeepers care for baby monkey after mother rejects infant

Public can't see Colobus monkey in person, but can track his progress online

September 18, 2013|by Ashley Reynolds, KY3 News | areynolds@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- He's furry with long arms and legs and has quite the tail for being just a few weeks old. The public can't see him yet, but KY3 got a sneak peek of the little creature.  He doesn't have a name yet but this little Colobus monkey has a hairy story or tale.

"Ideally we want the mom to raise their baby because that's what is best for him," said Dickerson Park Zoo marketing director Melinda Arnold.

These cute big brown eyes were not welcomed by his mother, so zookeepers are providing around-the-clock care.

"Unfortunately, with not being an experienced mother, she rejected him following birth.  She did not want to take care of him following birth.  She didn't want to hold him.  The zookeepers stepped in and assumed the role of surrogate mom," said Arnold.

Plush toys are a favorite, especially ones that resemble monkey mom.,

"One of the more interesting things we've had to do for him, because mom would be carrying their infants, they would cling to their long fur.  We've had to adapt. This is a toilet seat cover. That's comforting for him," said Arnold.

There's no public viewing yet. Zookeepers say the little one needs time to grow.

"Here in the building, he can hear and smell the other adults.  They can hear and smell him.  That's the first step of reintroducing him back into the troop," said Arnold.

Zookeepers document his progress.

"His look is going to change.  When they are born, they are white and have pale faces.  Over the first few months, they start to get that black and white characteristic adult coloring.  Over the next few months he's really going to change his appearance," said Arnold.

Zookeepers hope he'll be back in his troop in the coming months.

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If you'd like to follow the monkey's progress, you can view it on the Dickerson Park Zoo website.

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