Primate keepers at Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury, are celebrating the birth of a critically endangered white naped mangabey, the first of its kind to be born at the park.
Matt Ford, Head Primate Keeper said: ‘We are all so pleased to welcome the new baby to our group of white naped mangabeys. This is the first time we have bred these primates at Howletts and heralds the start of another successful breeding programme for Howletts. Most importantly, it’s great news for the species as white naped mangabeys listed as one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world.’
The youngster, born to first time mother, Volta has become the centre of attention to the group and even dad, Eduardo, is fascinated by the new arrival.
Matt added: ‘This young male is certainly very special and we’ve been thinking about appropriate names. As this is the first white naped mangabey we’ve had born here, we thought it would be really nice to enlist the help of our supporters and visitors to help us choose a suitable name via our social media pages.’
The names selected will be posted on Howletts Facebook page and followers will be encouraged to vote for their favourite. The chosen name will be announced on Saturday 5th November 2016.
White naped mangabeys can be found in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana however, their numbers have been decimated by deforestation and hunting, with populations dropping by at least 50% in the last 27 years, according to the IUCN Red List.