Primate keepers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo are celebrating the birth of an Allen's swamp monkey, born overnight March 9 to 9-year-old mother Layla. The baby was sired by 15-year-old father Nub Armstrong. Animal care staff are leaving Layla to bond with and care for her baby without interference. Keepers have observed her carrying and nursing the baby, which appears to be healthy. Zoo veterinarians are also visually monitoring the infant closely. Because Layla is cradling the baby close, it may be some time before keepers can determine the baby's sex. Visitors can view all four adult Allen's swamp monkeys, the new baby and three Schmidt's red-tailed monkeys in the Think Tank's mixed-species exhibit.
Native to the swamp forests of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Allen's swamp monkeys are small and stout with fur that varies in color from brownish-gray to green. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, they are classified as Least Concern but continue to face threats due to human conflict and wildlife trafficking.
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Photo Caption: Mother Allen's swamp monkey Layla holds her baby born March 9.
Photo Credit: Erin Stromberg, Smithsonian's National Zoo