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Audubon Zoo Welcomes Baby Colobus Monkey



May 23, 2014
Contact: Frank Donze
Office 504-212-5335
Cell 504-232-7461


 Come Say 'Habari' to the 
Baby Colobus at Audubon Zoo

Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-25, 2014

(New Orleans, La.) –  Audubon Zoo recently welcomed a new baby colobus monkey, who greeted the world with a most appropriate name.

Born Sunday, April 27, the female is named Habari, which means “Hello’’ in Swahili.

Kivuli, Habari's father, and her mother, Mandeesa, who arrived at Audubon from the Sunset Zoo in Kansas about a year ago, were a good match from the outset.

“Because Kivuli was hand-raised, we were unsure that he knew what to do when it came to breeding,’’ said Courtney Eparvier, the zoo’s curator of primates. “But he showed us that, in fact, he does!’’

Eparvier also had high praise for Mandeesa for being “a fantastic first time mother’’ and noted that the Zoo's four-member group, which includes another female, Tanzania, has done a great job welcoming a new addition to the clan.

Colobus monkeys, who roam the forests and grasslands of more than 15 Central African nations, are a threatened species that has fallen victim to habitat destruction. As human populations grow, forests are cut down tomake room for agriculture, settlements and roads and the colobus monkey is losing its home as these developments expand.

Organizations such as the American Wildlife Foundation are using technology, including tools like the Geographic Information System, to identify threats to conservation and pinpoint areas that have the potential to house wildlife. Once scientists identify suitable habitats, conversations can begin with communities and governments to set aside space. 

The species Colobus guereza can grow to about 30 inches long and can weigh up to 30 pounds. The monkeys are omnivorous and can live 20 years in captivity. Their natural enemies include leopards, large eagles and humans.

Unlike other monkeys, the colobus does not have a thumb.

Visitors can see Habari in the Zoo’s World of Primates along with her father, mother and aunt.

Audubon Zoo is located at 6500 Magazine Street. For more information, visit

Audubon Nature Institute is a 501(c)3 not for profit that operates a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature. These New Orleans facilities include: Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Entergy IMAX® Theatre, Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and Audubon Nature Institute Foundation. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.


Mailing address: Audubon Nature Institute 6500 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70118
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