You Unplugged

Shortlist symbol Add to shortlist button.

Africa Alive! Meet the animals

Visit the Rare Baby King Colobus at Africa Alive!

On the 1st of October staff at Africa Alive! were overjoyed to find a very welcome addition to the parks growing family of king colobus monkeys. This rare primate from the tropical rainforests of West and Central Africa is considered to be highly endangered due to habitat destruction and hunting by man (to which it is extremely vulnerable).
Rare baby King Colobus at Africa Alive!

The rare and magical sight of baby King Colobus at Africa Alive!

Parents Ebony and Bert, arrived from Marwell Zoo in Hampshire and Paignton Zoo in Devon in 2007 and have produced several babies since, with Ebony proving to be an exceptional mother once again.

At birth, colobus monkeys are covered in white fur that is gradually replaced with black hair matching the adults. The young are not very agile to begin with and are carried around for some time with the female primarily responsible for its care. For this reason, it is difficult to sex the baby at the moment and therefore, it is still to be named.

There are very few zoos within Europe that keep this species and none outside of Europe, 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.
The rare baby King Colobus at Africa Alive! zoo in Suffolk

The King Colobus is very unique to Africa Alive! on the Suffolk Coast.


Africa is home to 11 species of colobus monkey. The Western or King colobus is found in forests in a region stretching from Gambia to Côte d'Ivoire.
The female gives birth to one young after a 6-month pregnancy, and usually have young once every two years. Unlike their parents the young have a striking white coat for the first few months of their life.

Black and white colobus are herbivores. Their diet is mainly made up of leaves although they will occasionally eat fruit. As leaves do not contain many nutrients, colobus have special multi-chambered stomachs, similar to those of cows, to extract as much nutrition from their food as possible.

These monkeys are considered ‘Near Threatened’ as their numbers are dropping in the wild due to habitat loss and hunting. Habitats are being destroyed through subsistence farming, commercial agriculture and selective logging. They are vulnerable to hunting by humans both for their meat and fur.

Did You Know?
The word ‘colobus’ means ‘docked’ in Greek as Colobus monkeys have reduced thumbs. This adaptation helps them move quickly through the trees.



Discover more about Africa Alive! here

Read our Meet the Animals article


Experience great family days out in Suffolk