May 21, 2019

Denver Zoo Welcomes First Mandrill Baby Since 2003

Animal Care Staff Say the New Baby is Thriving After Her Birth on May 10


Mother’s Day was especially sweet for our female mandrill, Kumani, who gave birth to a healthy, female on Friday, May 10. The baby, who her caretakers named Kesi, is the first for seven-year-old Kumani and her mate, 11-year-old Jelani. Our animal care team says Kumani has already proven to be a great mom, providing Kesi with the care and attention she needs to thrive.  

Kesi’s arrival marks the first mandrill birth at the Zoo since 2003, when we went through a mandrill baby boom with two females born in two years. Jelani joined our troop in 2013 followed by Kumani, who arrived in 2018 at the recommendation of the Species Survival Plan. At the end of 2018, our animal care staff suspected Kumani might be pregnant, which was later confirmed via ultrasound.  

Mandrills, which are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, are found in the rainforests of central West Africa. You can spot mandrills by their bright blue and red face, and long teeth. Males are larger and usually have brighter coloring. They’re a social species and travel in groups known as troops.  

Guests are encouraged to visit Kesi and our whole mandrill troop in the Congo Basin area in Primate Panorama. Animal care staff say the best time to catch these colorful primates and catch a glimpse of Kesi is first thing in the morning or at lunchtime, when they are foraging for food. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates on Kesi! 


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