“These monkeys are rare in nature and in zoos – only 25 individuals are kept by ten institutions, mostly European, but they only breed in three of them. Ostrava breeders will therefore make great efforts to increase the population under human care by more cubs,” informed the zoo’s spokeswoman Šárka Nováková.
Hamlyn’s cat (Cercopithecus hamlyni) is found in the dense bamboo forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in an area bordered by mountains and other natural boundaries. The only other occurrence is confirmed in an area of about thirty kilometers of Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda.
They feed exclusively on bamboo
This species of catfish feeds almost exclusively on bamboo. “In the international Red List of Threatened Species, it is classified as vulnerable,” explains zoologist Pavla Slavíčková.
“We obtained the female from the French Zoo La Palmyre and the male from the Leipzig Zoo. They were housed in the old primate pavilion. It is closed to visitors, but the monkeys have the opportunity to go out into the outdoor enclosure, where people can observe them,” added Slavíčková.
The male is significantly larger than the female, both are colored the same – their back is olive gray, the rest of the body is dark. “At first they were separated, but now they are united. The keepers hope that they will gain experience in breeding a new species and that the couple will strengthen the population in human care in the future with successfully reared cubs,” Nováková added.