Baby Mandrill Born At Columbus Zoo Helps Species Protection Plan

mandrill baby image 1 - Columbus Zoo 2014

Photo Courtesy of Columbus Zoo.

Powell, OH The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is excited to announce the birth of a male mandrill, the second member of this threatened species to be born at the Zoo.

The Zoo’s latest arrival, named Brody, was born on Friday, Sept. 19. He is strong, healthy and is walking on his own.

Brody, which means “brother,” is the second offspring of Mandisa and Doug. Mandisa initially appeared to take some parental interest, but her care soon deteriorated. At that time, zookeepers began feeding Brody by hand but now he is back with the group. A surrogate mother, Tatu, has shown interest in adopting Brody.

Brody is a welcomed addition to the Species Survival Plan, a program developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to save the genetic diversity of animal populations that are threatened in the wild. Nationwide, zoos care for about 100 mandrills. Finding successful mating pairs has posed challenges.

“Although the mandrill population in zoos was once stable, a lack of reproductive success has led to a decline over the last few years,” said Audra Meinelt, assistant curator of the Congo Expedition. “This birth will help the Species Survival Plan so zoo visitors can enjoy and learn about these animals well into the future.”

Photo courtesy of Columbus Zoo

Photo courtesy of Columbus Zoo

Mandrills are a vulnerable species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with their primary threat being deforestation. As their habitats disappear, they move into agricultural areas and are killed as pests. They are also hunted for their meat.

A close relative to the baboon, the mandrill is one of the most colorful primates. A scarlet stripe runs down their nose, the ridges of which are bluish-purple, and a yellow tuft of hair accents their chins. Their red and blue rumps become brighter when the animal is excited.  They are very expressive, often using grand facial gestures and body language to communicate with other mandrills. They have also been observed using tools, such as sticks for grooming.

With the arrival of Brody, the Columbus Zoo now houses six mandrills in Congo Expedition.

Source Columbus Zoo

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