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Ready to celebrate spring in the most adorable way?
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has welcomed quite a few babies over the last few months, including a baby colobus monkey, two feathertail gliders, and two stingray pups.
“We love seeing these healthy spring arrivals, and with each birth we celebrate the amazing diversity of wildlife from around the world,” said Dr. Jan Ramer, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Senior Vice President of Animal Care and Conservation. “Spring is a great time to visit the Zoo to relax and enjoy the beautiful grounds, and to learn more about our incredible animals and ways can all do our part to help protect these species and their habitats.”
The first birth of the year was on January 15 when a tiny male guereza colobus monkey named Jif was born. When it’s warm out, visitors can get a peek at Jif and his mom Jabari and dad Sekani in the Zoo’s Congo Expedition region. Their troop also includes two other females.
Colobus monkeys are native to equatorial Africa. They spend half of their days resting and sleeping and the other half moving through trees searching for food. The species lack thumbs, which is how they get their name. Although they aren’t an endangered species, they do face habitat destruction, hunting, and capture for the illegal wildlife trade.
As one of only two breeding institutions in North America caring for the feathertail glider, the arrival of these two adorable babies is pretty special. Feathertail gliders are the world’s smallest marsupials and 27 of them live at the Zoo. Two joeys arrived for one mother in January. the joeys are smaller than a grain of rice when they are born and only grow to be 2-3 inches long. They can glide up to 90-feet between the trees.
At approximately 63 days, the joeys emerge from their mother’s pouch and start to explore outside of the nest box. They join the colony at around 2.5 months old. The joeys are only a little bit smaller than adults now and they can be viewed in the Zoo’s Nocturnal Building, located in the Australia and the Islands region.
Finally, the Zoo welcomed two male cownose ray pups in February. Both pups are on view in their “playpen” in Stingray Bay. Although these cuties are only about 10-12 inches right now, they will grow to be over 3-feet wide as adults.
Named for the shape of their head, cownose rays have few natural predators, including hammerhead sharks and humans. Cownose rays are listed as a Vulnerable species as the population decreases due to overharvesting and pollution. You can get up close and interact with the adult cownose rays in the touch pool at Stingray Bay.
You can see all of these new arrivals, as well as other fantastic animals, by visiting the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. To plan your visit, head over to ColumbusZoo.org.
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