Rare baby monkey born at London Zoo

Katy Holland

A tiny baby monkey born at London Zoo is giving hope to a species of primate which is threatened with extinction.

Hope, a white-naped mangabey was born three weeks ago to mum Bella and dad Lucky and is one of the world's rarest primates.

London Zoo is at the forefront of breeding the endangered monkeys, as part of the European Endangered species Programme.

White-naped mangabey breeding at the London Zoo is so successful that zookeeper Andrea Payne, who has worked with the primate group since its arrival in 2008, is researching the success to try to increase the numbers in other European zoos.

In the past 27 years deforestation and hunting pressure in countries like Ghana have devastated wild white-naped mangabey populations by at least 50 per cent, so captive babies like Hope are extremely important.

Zookeeper Andrea Payne says: "White-naped mangabeys are notoriously difficult to breed and their dire situation in the wild means it's now critical that we ensure a future for these endangered monkeys.

'It's fantastic that we have another mangabey baby at ZSL London Zoo. Bella is just a fantastic mum, she takes everything in her stride and Lucky is a very protective dad. The group is really brilliant with all youngsters bouncing around to the joy of the watching public'.

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