Make room in your busy life and in your battered heart for these three photos of young primates charming the world at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. The li'l cuddly creatures are from three different species; here we've got a Brown Collared Lemur, a Sliver Leaf Langur, and a Mandrill. All three births are part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program that's intended to "maintain genetic diversity in zoo populations." According to the zoo, we're looking at:
- A silver leaf langur (Trachypithecus cristatus), born this spring in the zoo’s JungleWorld exhibit. Infants sport a striking orange-colored coat in comparison to the adults’ silvery gray color. The coat will remain orange for three-to-five months before gradually turning gray. The baby stays very close to its mother, making it difficult to determine the monkey’s gender. Native to the rainforest canopies in Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia, nearly 80 percent of the langur’s diet consists of leaves. Silver leaf langurs are listed as “near threatened” by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). WCS’s Bronx Zoo has the largest breeding population of silver leaf langurs in North America.
- A brown collared lemur (Eulemur collaris) was born this spring in the Bronx Zoo’s Madagascar! exhibit. Brown collared lemurs are primarily active during the day, but may move and forage at night. They are native to the tropical forests of southeastern Madagascar, where their range is threatened by charcoal production and slash-and-burn agriculture. This devastating loss of habitat is the primary reason the species is listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN.
- The Bronx Zoo’s Congo Gorilla Forest is home to a young mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) born last fall. The baby has grown quickly and is already running and playing in the exhibit with the rest of the troop. Mandrills are found in Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. Mandrills are listed as “vulnerable” by IUCN and are threatened by habitat loss and hunting for bushmeat.
If you want to gawk at them in person, The Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, 5:30 p.m. weekends from April to October; 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m November to March. Adult admission is $16.95, children (3-12 years old) $11.95, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14.95.