Range: Nigeria to Ethiopia and south to Tanzania
Habitat: Tropical rain and montane forests - tree crowns
Wild Diet: Leaves, flowers, fruits and some insects
Zoo Diet: Primate pellets, lettuce, fruits
Proficient aerialists, colobus monkeys swing freely with their arms, extending hands and feet in front of them when landing after a jump. They use the same pathways through the canopy over and over. The size of the home range is influenced by the number of monkeys in the troop, food supply and compatibility with other troops. Territory boundaries are marked by vocalizations, and troops meeting at a boundary jump up and down excitedly for a time. A strong male acts as lead animal, threatening enemies and covering retreats. Besides man, they have leopards and large eagles as predators. When eating, they prefer young tender leaves, and the troop may stay several days on the same few trees. They can withstand cold temperatures.
Colobus monkeys practice polygamy. Females retreat with a male just prior to giving birth and return shortly thereafter. Infants are carried on the abdomen with the young clinging to the mother's sides. At one week the young moves freely on the mother's lap and at two weeks move about. The mother carries the youngster until the age of 8 months although the father will play with it and help in its care. He is very patient and never scolds as some other monkeys do.
Gestation: 6 months