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Zoo welcomes playful pair of red-tailed monkeys

Oct. 10, 2022, 1:39 p.m.
Topic: Animal well-being, Arrivals and departures
A red-tailed monkey in the treetops habitat at the Oregon Zoo.

Two cheeky primates move in at the zoo's Africa Treetops habitat

The Oregon Zoo welcomed a couple of fluffy new faces to town this week: Red-tailed monkeys Indi and Chichi are making themselves at home in the zoo’s Africa Treetops habitat. Visitors can look for them in the area between rhinos and giraffes. 

Red-tailed monkeys are native to central Africa, especially in lowland forests. They have unique facial patterns, which help them recognize each other in large groups. Their furry white cheeks aren’t just for show — they can store as much food in their cheek pouches as they can in their stomachs. Like many primates, these new arrivals are energetic and playful, according to care staff.

“They’re a lot of fun to watch,” said Asaba Mukobi, the zoo’s primate area supervisor. “Red-tailed monkeys are excellent climbers thanks to their long tails, and Indi and Chichi are no exception.” 

Mukobi says the monkeys are still getting used to their new home, but guests may see them venturing out periodically or snuggling up in one of their treetop nests. 

Indi and Chichi arrived from the Louisville Zoo. Their transfer to Portland was recommended by the Species Survival Plan for red-tailed monkeys, a cooperative program among accredited zoos to promote genetically diverse, self-sustaining populations of at-risk species.  

Although red-tailed monkeys are not currently considered endangered, they face ongoing threats due to deforestation, hunting and human encroachment.