NEW ORLEANS – On June 16, Audubon Zoo announced a precious new addition to its mandrill family.
The baby was born on Wednesday, June 3 to mother, Jinx, and father, Mapema. This is their second child. Their first, Kofola, was born in July 2018.
“Jinx is taking great care of the infant, nursing it and making sure it’s holding on securely as she moves around,” said Curator of Louisiana Swamp and Jaguar Jungle Liz Wilson. “Mapema is being an awesome dad, sticking close to Jinx and the infant as well as spending time with Kofola.”
Kofola has never seen a mother raise offspring before, so observing Jinx with a new baby will help prepare her to raise her own one day.
Jinx and Mapema were recommended to breed as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for mandrills, which helps to ensure a genetically diverse population and the long-term sustainability of the species.
Mandrills are classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to deforestation and hunting in the rainforests they inhabit in Nigeria, Southern Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Congo.
Mandrills are the largest and most colorful of the Old World monkeys. Adult male mandrills that have the brightest and most distinctive colors are most attractive to females. Those bright colors on their rear end also help mandrills to follow each other in thick forests habitats. Adult females have duller colors, longer muzzles, and are about half the size of adult males.
All four mandrills have access to their outdoor habitat, so guests may catch a glimpse of the new addition during their Zoo visit. The sex of the baby will be confirmed in the upcoming weeks. Audubon plans to share updates on social media regarding its sex and name.
By visiting an AZA-accredited zoo like Audubon, you are helping the conservation efforts of species like mandrills. Audubon Zoo reopened to the public on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 following a nearly three-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the guidance of State and City public health directives, Audubon is reopening its family of parks and museums following a phased approach that strictly limits attendance and programming. Advance tickets to the Zoo are required and can be reserved here. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium remain temporarily closed.