In September 2023 we welcomed three new additions to our Colobus monkey family. This adorable trio have been off show for the last few months while repair work was being done on their house, but we are delighted to announce that they are back in view and what a great reason to swing by the zoo, just look at those faces!!

Zoo manager, Alyn Cairns, said “The three new arrivals has been terrific news for us. Colobus monkeys are endangered and quite rare, without the active work of zoos many species like this would simply cease to exist. The biggest threat to this species is the loss of their habitat through destruction of forests.

They naturally live in groups of 8-15 and with these new additions it brings our family up to 8, which we are delighted with.”

Our beautiful babies are now eight months old; the sex of the babies has not been determined yet however the zoo is pleased to report that all babies and mothers are thriving.  When first born the colobus monkey is pure white with a pink face. They then develop their black fur after a few months.

Like all primates they are unable to walk at birth; colobus monkeys must be carried by their mothers. This species uses the “Alloparenting” method which means that all females in the group will help to raise the babies as well as the biological mother. In the first month when the infant still has a pink face, they are handled three to five times an hour in resting groups.

The name “Colobus” means “he cut short” and refers to their stumpy thumbs. They are natural “chillers” and like to while the day away languishing about. They hang elegantly from branches with their mischievous faces peering out, with wispy white beards making them an enchanting sight. About 50% of their day is spent relaxing and with the remaining time they like to groom, greet, and play.


Their diet is generally composed of leaves and fruits. However, they have a rather diverse diet and will consume bark, wood, and even soil!

The Black & White Colobus monkey family at Belfast Zoo can be spotted in their home in the Monkey house. Come along to welcome our three new bundles of joy.