Love at First Sniff

On 13th June, our Animal Care Team welcomed the arrival of a baby coppery titi monkey (Callicebus cupreus) born to first-time parents, mum, Copper and dad, Lewis. 

Lewis was born at Colchester Zoo in August 2020 whilst Copper arrived from Belfast Zoo in January 2024. When two coppery titi monkeys meet, they sniff each other’s face. Both Copper and Lewis must have liked what they smelt after only being together for 5 months before producing their own offspring.

This small species of primate is very timid and shy but both mum and dad along with their new arrival are doing well and are adapting to parenthood. Copper carried the baby for a gestation period of around 132 days, but it will be Lewis that cares and carries the baby from now on, only giving their offspring back to Copper for nursing. The baby will cling to dad for around 4 to 5 months before becoming independent.

“Copper and Lewis are proving to be fantastic first-time parents, both being very attentive to their infant and each other. The little one is very strong and active, climbing all over its dad’s head but Lewis is being a very patient father.”

Charlotte, Rainforest Team Member

The offspring is yet to be sexed and named by the Animal Care Team, but we will be sure to keep you updated!

This new family can be seen together in their habitat located at Worlds Apart and you may even catch them sleeping with their tail’s intertwined.

Colchester Zoo had not bred this species until 2019, where a previous set of breeding coppery titi monkeys, female Whiskey and male Colby, had their first young together. Whiskey and Colby are also the parents of Lewis and bee seen at the habitat Rainforest Walkthrough with some of their previous offspring. We’re pleased to have another successful breeding pair for the conservation of this beautiful species.

Although the species is currently listed as ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, they are often killed for bush meat, caught for the pet trade, or hunted by predators. Their tails are also sold and used as dusters!

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