DENVER – Just in time for Mother’s Day, the Denver Zoo saw the birth of its first baby mandrill in more than 15 years.
The zoo’s female mandrill, Kumani, gave birth to a healthy female baby, which caretakers named Kesi, on May 10 – the first for 7-year-old Kumani and her mate, 11-year-old Jelani.
Kesi’s birth is the first mandrill birth at the Denver Zoo since 2003 – when the zoo went through a “mandrill baby boom” which saw the birth of two females in two years, according to zoo officials.
The birth is important for the mandrill population, which is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The primates are found in the rain forests of central West Africa and are recognizable by their bright blue and red face, as well as their long teeth. The males are bigger and usually have brighter coloring. Mandrills are a social species and travel in groups called “troops.”
Kesi made her public debut Friday, and guests can find her and her parents in the Congo Basin area in Primate Panorama. The best time to catch these colorful primates is early in the morning or at lunchtime, when they are looking for food.