Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Friday, September 30, 2011

Record Breaking Colobus Monkey!

GVI Kenya would like to share some very exciting news with everybody on behalf of the Colobus Trust. The Colobus Trust is a conservation organization designed to promote the conservation, preservation and protection of primates like the rare Angolan Colobus monkey (Colobus angolensis palliatus) and its coastal forest habitat in southern Kenya.
Over the last 14 years The Colobus Trust has received numerous orphaned Colobus infants in need of hand rearing but unfortunately, due to their complex and sensitive digestive system and general fragile nature we have never been successful in keeping one alive for more than 21 days. Indeed, this is repeated in any institute that has attempted to hand rear this particular species of Colobus (Colobus angolensispalliatus) or an International Zoo and leading authority on animal care, the same story is repeated time and time again, ‘the infant does well for the first 2-3 weeks, then suddenly crashes and dies within 12 hours’.
An angolan back and white colobus, just after hearing all these good news!
There is now one notable exception, Baby Betsy, an orphaned Angolan Colobus who has been in the care of The Colobus Trust and hand reared for 65 days (5/04/11). Angolan Colobus monkeys are born pure white, developing the adult black and white coloration at around 3 months old, via a grey stage, which Betsy is currently displaying. She is in constant contact with her primary or secondary carer, replicating the level of contact, care and love she would naturally receive from her colobus Mum. During the day she is wrapped in a sarong and tied across the chest of her carer and sleeps in the bed alongside her at night.
Fed on an individually designed diet of goat milk, infused with chamomile tea, probiotics and multi vitamins, supplemented with wild leaves and flowers and a weekly ‘poop shake’ – her usual milk meal with a small amount of colobus feces added to provide good colobus stomach bacteria – Betsy is doing remarkably well and exceeding all our expectations.