Black-and-white colobus monkey in exhibit

Black-and-white Colobus Monkey

Scientific Name

Colobus guereza

Class

Mammalia

Order

Primates

Range

Equatorial Africa

Habitat

Rain forests and cleared forests

Estimated Wild Population

n/a
Black-and-white colobus monkey in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

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Physical Description

Black-and-white colobus monkeys have a glossy black coat and a white-framed face. Males can weigh 30 pounds, but females are substantially smaller. Colobus monkeys have unique stomachs; their complex gut system allows them to digest large quantities of leafy plant material. They live in troops of up to 15 individuals. Infants are white at birth but begin to change color after about six weeks.

Interesting Fact 1

While displaying, males "roar" and wave their cap—the long hair on their shoulders.

Interesting Fact 2

The black-and-white colobus monkeys at Lincoln Park Zoo eat a lot of leafy greens, such as lettuce, but Animal Care staff also provide them with a variety of browse, or tree leaves, throughout the day.

Interesting Fact 3

Colobus monkeys are very arboreal, meaning they prefer living in tree canopies. At Lincoln Park Zoo, Animal Care specialists encourage this behavior by leaving sleeping hammocks in their vertical spaces and hanging food from the ceiling.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy. 

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Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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