A Sulawesi crested black macaque was born at Paignton Zoo on 19th November, while the zoo was closed as a result of the second national lockdown, to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The macaque has been sexed as male and has not yet been named. His parents are experienced mum Anneke and dad Hickory, who is the dominant male within the troop. The youngster will spend most of its time for the first few months holding on to mum and relies on her for feeding and care. Baby macaques are born with a light-pink face, hands and feet. These features will darken to the all-over black hair and facial colour as he gets older.
Sulawesi crested macaques (Macaca nigra) are currently found in the wild in a very small range on the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia. They are known locally as ‘yaki’ and are classified as a Critically Endangered species on the IUCN Red List. They are an important species within their ecosystem, helping to disperse seeds from their diet, to allow for trees to contionously grow within the forest.
Paignton Zoo is part of Wild Planet Trust, that proudly supports the Selamatkan Yaki conservation project in Sulawesi. The organisation works to ‘protect the yaki’ and their habitat through conservation, education and research.