Be sure to read Jasmine’s previous post, Monkeys, Otters, and More.
In the lower mixed-species exhibit, if you are a veteran visitor to these exhibits in the San Diego Zoo’s Lost Forest , you’ll remember our little hand-raised juvenile Allen’s swamp monkey female, Kinah. She just turned four in October, and she’s got tons of playmates. Kinah likes to kiss up to the African spotted-necked otter boys Mzee and Khalil (maybe she thinks they’ll let her borrow some of their fish). Sometimes they’ll play “tag, you’re it” as Kinah tags the otters’ tail to catch their attention so that they can chase her.
Along with Kinah, we also have three other juvenile Allen’s swamp monkeys. Shaba, our sleek and rambunctious male, is growing up to be a fine young monkey. He still loves to jump, walk the tight ropes, chase and tease the other juvenile girls, Layla and Deiriai, or as we call her, Little “D”.
It’s all fun and games until Abu and Patty, our Schmidt’s spot-nosed guenon male and female step in. Patty is the oldest monkey in the exhibit, and at 26, she likes to tell all those kids who’s boss. She mostly keeps to herself, up high in the bamboo structure or with Abu by her side. But her spunky personality and old charm makes her a fan favorite.
Our third Schmidt’s spot-nosed guenon is Spike. She is a passive female who became quick friends with Patty. You will most likely see Spike and Patty grooming each other in the bamboo platform. Grooming behavior between primates stimulates social affection toward one another. Abu will also join in on the socializing, especially if he can get both Schmidt’s females to groom him!
And finally, there is Nub; he is our charming Allen’s swamp monkey adult male who came to us from Metro-Richmond Zoo. Nub has a lot of patience hanging around all those swamp monkey kids. He is a quiet fellow who likes to keep to himself but will sometimes get groomed by one or two of the juvenile swamp kids. You will mostly see him hanging down by the grass, foraging or admiring the visitors at the waterway. He’s slightly pudgy, which is pretty normal in adult Allen’s swamp monkeys. His peaceful and happy-go-lucky nature make him a great new addition to our monkey family.
If you haven’t already, come to the bridge down in Lost Forest and check out the two interspecies exhibits for some crazy animal antics! If you come by between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. you might even catch me tossing fish to the otters or biscuits to the monkeys. I’m sure you’ll love their personalities as much as I do.
Jasmine Almonte is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo.