The zoo has made two exciting announcements.

Niabi Zoo has two pieces of news to share. Let's start with the baby news.

Last Monday, May 9, an Eastern Black and White Colobus monkey was born at the zoo in Coal Valley, Illinois, about an hour-and-a-half from Cedar Rapids. His name is Bitinze. In the picture below, he's being held by his mom Kenna. Bitinze is her first baby.

Niabi Zoo
Niabi Zoo
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No, the hair on Bitinze's head isn't bleached. Niabi Zoo says all the hair of Black and White Colobus babies starts white. In about three weeks, you'll start to see patches of dark hair. After about three months, his color will resemble that of his mom Kenna, and his 16-year-old dad, Tuli.

Niabi Zoo has eight Black and White Colobus monkeys, which are typically found in the woodlands of tropical areas of Africa. According to the African Wildlife Foundation,

"“colobus” is derived from the Greek word for “mutilated,” because unlike other monkeys, colobus monkeys do not have thumbs. Their beautiful black fur strongly contrasts with the long white mantle, whiskers, bushy tail, and beard around the face. The Eastern black-and-white is distinguishable by a U-shaped cape of white hair running from the shoulders to lower back, whereas the Angolan black-and-white has white hairs flaring out only at the shoulders."

Niabi Zoo has also announced they'll soon add a painted dog exhibit at the zoo. They received a $160,000 grant from the Roy J. Carver charitable trust. Zoo director Lee Jackson told me they "plan on starting the work this season, with the exhibit opening in the spring of 2023."

Native to Africa and sometimes called hunting dog or African painted dog, the African Wildlife Foundation says no two have the same markings. Endangered for more than 20 years, there are only about 6,600 of these beautiful dogs remaining in the wild. See photos below.

Photo by Leon Pauleikhoff on Unsplash
Photo by Leon Pauleikhoff on Unsplash
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Photo by Leon Pauleikhoff on Unsplash
Photo by Leon Pauleikhoff on Unsplash
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Photo by Catherine Merlin on Unsplash
Photo by Catherine Merlin on Unsplash
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