Yorkshire Wildlife Park welcomes the first baby gelada monkey to be born at the zoo

A baby gelada monkey has become the first of the species to be born at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. 

The park says the "adorable" youngster, who is being carried around by its mother, Feven, is "already warming the hearts" of visitors.

The new arrival is described as "a ground-breaking moment" in the breeding of gelada monkeys. 

Rangers have been working with the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) on a number of research projects for years.

The first initiative introduced two new breeding males to the already established group of primates, which had never been done before.

Obi and his brother Taylor arrived from Colchester Zoo in 2020 as a key part of the breeding programme.

The breeding programme at the zoo saw two males introduced to the resident group, leading to the birth of the new baby. Credit: Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Greg Clifton, the park's team leader of primates, said: “It has been an extremely exciting time at the park. “We have been watching Feven closely for the last six months throughout her pregnancy.

“When the two new breeding males were introduced, an immediate split occurred within the harem, where females on the peripheral joined the new two males," he said. "[The monkeys] are now split into a harem of ten and a harem of five led by Obi, with the smaller group currently being subordinate.

“Now as we welcome a new baby into Obi’s group, things may change again regarding the social structure within our two harems. Over the coming weeks, months, and years we may start seeing females leaving Harry’s group and joining Obi’s group.

“It is very early days for the youngster, but we are looking forward to seeing the new baby grow within the group at the park and hopefully this is the beginning of many more successful births of Gelada babies.”

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