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Rare Baby Monkey Born days after fathers death

10th February 2023

Yorkshire Wildlife Park are happy to announce the birth of a Critically Endangered Roloway Monkey.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is celebrating a precious arrival - the birth of an endangered Roloway monkey. 

Proud Kayla has become a mum for the third time. 

The baby can already be seen with its mum in the reserve enjoying the sunshine – much to the delight of visitors. The special delivery is another huge triumph for Yorkshire Wildlife Park - their first baby and protective big brother, Kumasi, was born in 2020 at the park. 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. The second sibling, baby Dassioko, was welcomed to the family in 2021.

Primates Team Leader Greg Clifton said: “This is a very exciting birth for us as the Roloway monkeys are on the verge of extinction and are likely to become extinct in the wild in a few years.

“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. 

“Kumasi has been a great big brother to Dassioko already, so it is no surprise he is really interested in his new sibling. He has been following the new baby everywhere.”

The birth is bittersweet as dad Rafiki died suddenly just days before the new arrival.

Mr Clifton added: “This loss is devastating news for both us and for the European breeding programme. Rafiki’s legacy will continue through his offspring, Kumasi, Dassioko and now his third baby, who will all carry on doing their bit to save their species.”

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

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. 

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a dynamic centre for conservation and welfare. The 175-acre park gives visitors the chance to come almost face to face with some of the world's most beautiful and rare animals including Polar Bears, Leopards, Tigers and Giraffes.

 The Wild Life Foundation, the charity based at the park, is helping fund  a conservation initiative by the West African Primate Conservation Action organisation in Ghana to protect primates, particularly the Roloways. Rangers from YWP are due to fly out later this year to support the work, which includes undertaking field surveys, managing primate rescue and breeding facilities and protecting the monkeys’  natural habitat. 



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