A surprise awaits you in Rainforest Revealed: A new baby howler monkey! Fourteen-year-old Baya gave birth overnight on April 30 and the newborn was discovered in the early morning of May 1 by keepers. While we do not yet know the baby’s sex or name, we are delighted that they appear to be healthy and alert.
This youngling joins a family unit of howler monkeys that includes their mom, Baya; their dad, 18-year-old Stormy; half-siblings Batata (7) and Beatle (6); as well as their full sibling, a 9-month-old male born to Baya and Stormy in August 2022.
“We’ve confirmed the baby nursing,” said Rainforest Revealed Area Supervisor Michelle Johnston. “The little one has a strong grip onto mom, which is a good indicator that they are strong and doing well.”
Our young male born last year to Baya is still spending a lot of time around mom, learning to “share” with his newest sibling! “He is also becoming so much more independent these days,” said Michelle.
All infant howler monkeys are born with blonde hair in order to “blend in” with their mothers! Because we prefer to be as hands-off as possible with our new additions, we do not know the sex of the baby at this time. If the newborn is a male, their hair will turn black when they are around two-and-a-half years old!
This little one is Baya’s seventh offspring and second here at our Zoo. Baya and her older daughters, Batata and Beatle, came to our Zoo in late 2021 as a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP) for their species.
Female howler monkeys care for their young for around 12 months. After that, the young stay with their natal group and will continue to be around mom and other family members. This species has been known to have other females in the group help care for the young and even carry, groom and protect them!
Although black howler monkeys are not considered endangered, they are threatened in their natural range due to habitat loss, agricultural development and human hunting. Here are a few tips to help:
Baya and the newborn are currently on habitat in Rainforest Revealed, where they share a large space with their troop as well as macaws, scarlet ibises, river turtles, red-legged seriema and roseate spoonbills. See if you can spot our newest baby on your next visit!
Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.