POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium announced the birth of a new baby mandrill, which is a species of Old World monkey.
In a social media post Wednesday, the zoo shared pictures of the infant in the arms of his mother Malaika. The tweet’s caption noted that the newborn boy was born early on Sunday, Oct. 16 and that he has yet to be named.
The zoo also wrote that he “is the firstborn of parents, Malaika and Mosi.” And that the care team reported that “Malaika and her bundle of joy are doing great!”
Further details about the mandrill troop were provided on Facebook.
“Malaika has significant maternal behaviors: she is attentive, protective, and fits in well socially with the rest of her troop. Malaika’s sister, Hasina, is showing interest in the little one and is happy to be allowed to touch the baby at every possibility. Dad, Mosi, is respectful of Malaika and their baby, and his role is to observe from a distance. Matilda, our dominant unrelated female, is interested in the baby and being respectful. Matilda grins at the baby, a very positive social expression used by mandrills.”
The zoo also wrote specifically about the baby’s personality and what lies ahead for his development.
“Malaika’s baby is strong, curious, nurses often, and reaches out to touch items. We can expect the baby to venture off from mom when she sees fit. Like other infants, the baby mandrill sleeps and eats often, and since he’s holding on to Malaika, he has easy access to food at all times. At birth, mandrills have light pink skin coloring with light and dark gray hair. Malaika’s baby’s appearance will change rapidly as he grows, but he won’t look like his dad, Mosi, until he’s about 8-9 years old.”
The zoo’s website explains that mandrills are “the largest of all monkeys and one of seven species of baboons.” The baby boy will eventually develop the bright scarlet coloration on his nose that is seen in adult males, as well as prominent ridges on either side of his nasal bones.
With the birth of the newest member, the zoo now has a troop of five mandrills in its Congo Expedition region. However, the zoo indicated that visitors might or might not be able to see the newest member.
“Depending on the weather, the mandrills will have access to their yard. However, the mandrills always have access to their inside rooms, which means the baby may not be viewable, allowing Malaika the option she feels most comfortable with.”