Doncaster's Yorkshire Wildlife Park celebrates birth of endangered monkey

Staff at Doncaster’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park are celebrating a precious arrival - the birth of an endangered monkey.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 4:52 pm

Roloway monkeys Kayla and Rafiki became proud parents for the second time on December 3

The special delivery is another huge triumph to the Branton-based park - their first baby and now protective big brother, Kumasi, was born in 2020.

At the time it was the first birth of its kind in the UK and a major success as only three babies were born worldwide that year.

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The cute new monkey is settling in at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Primates team leader Greg Clifton said: “This is a very exciting birth for us here at YWP as the Roloway monkeys are on the verge of extinction and are likely to become extinct in the wild over the coming few years, so breeding them here at YWP is major triumph for the European breeding programme and the species.

“Although it’s too early to tell the sex of the new baby, this species develops very quickly so it won’t be long before we can reveal the gender and pick a name.

“It’s been so nice seeing Kumasi really interested in his new sibling. He has been following the new baby everywhere. I’m really proud of how hard our team worked introducing Kayla and Rafiki since they arrived."

The striking black and white Roloway monkeys, which are native to Ghana in West Africa, are only ones of their kind in the UK and part of the European Breeding programme, which is key in conserving healthy populations of animals in captivity.

The joyous news comes just weeks after the UK’s first red howler monkey baby, Pablo, was born. Last year, YWP had three other endangered primate births - as well as Pablo in October there were critically endangered cotton-top tamarin twins in August.

There are just 200 Roloway monkeys left in the wild and 33 Individuals living in zoos and wildlife parks This species is one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates and is classed as critically endangered due to deforestation and the bush-meat trade.

The park is home to dozens of rare and protected species from around the globe.