Rare monkey born at Lincoln Park Zoo

July 20, 2010 10:15:09 AM PDT
Teetering on extinction in the wilds, the Gray Titi is thriving at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo.In the South American tropical forests of Bolivia, a rare monkey called the Gray Titi is heading for extinction. But here in Chicago at Lincoln Park Zoo the titi is thriving; just six days ago another little beauty was born.

For the last several days, everyone has been trying to get a glimpse of the new Gray Titi. The 5-day-old is clinging to its mother's neck. They don't know the name of the teeny, tiny titi.

"The baby is doing very well it's riding on it's mother's back but also we've seen it transfer to dad or the other siblings. So the whole family is there taking care of the kid," said Maureen Leahy, asst. curator of primates Lincoln Park Zoo.

The titis here at Lincoln Park are very successful. Since mom Delasol and dad Ocala were paired in 2001 they have had seven healthy babies. So tiny Titi is just one more addition to a happy family.

The titis are really very unusual animals physically. Their bodies are about fifteen inches long and their tails can be up to twenty inches long. They're that much longer. And that is for two very good reasons.

"They have long tails which they do use for balance for locomoting throughout the rainforest. But they also sleep together in a whole family group and they'll actually intertwine their tails together and that's unique to titi monkey species," said Leahy.

Titis mate for life. Once a male and female are together that's it until death do they part. But is it really "love" as we know it? After all, we are mammals and so are they.

"It's hard to use the word love but they have an incredibly strong bond. I would say yes they have a strong family bond," said Leahy.

For the teeny, tiny titi, it's just the beginning of a long, long tale.


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