Diana monkeys keep the animal keepers on their toes

Hand-rearing in the Monkey House in Tierpark Berlin

Well, I'll be damned! March 22 2015 seen a whole lot of excitement happening in the Monkey House: A little monkey girl is the latest addition to the Diana monkey population at Tierpark Berlin. She's not only a little cutie, she is also very important. The number of Diana monkeys in the wild (West Africa) is on the decline.

Bottle-fed infant

Sadly the mother didn't take to her baby. This happens again and again in the animal kingdom, especially if the animal mothers are inexperienced or do not produce enough milk to nourish their offspring. The monkey-baby wouldn't have survived if she was born outside the zoo. Luckily the animal keepers in the Tierpark discovered the new-born just in time and nursed her back to good health with lots of milk. It is therefore fitting to name her "Rhea", from which the term breast milk derives. The bottled milk isn't actually breast milk, but it still must taste so good to Rhea because she has got the animal keepers at her beck and call with top-ups every 1.5 to two hours! As night falls, it is thankfully bed-time. The animal keepers and the curators alternate with the feeding so that Rhea doesn't get too used to one person. We have to make sure after all, that the monkey doesn't think she's human!


Princess Diana (Monkey)


The young monkey has already turned into a little princess: Rhea can only really sleep peacefully if she is gently rocked to sleep by her replacement dad. Her favourite comfort blanket should also not be missing. The little one doesn't really take to stuffed toys in contrast.


When can the visitors get a glimpse?


The visitors can't yet take a peak at her yet. Find out on our Facebook page as soon as this changes.

Threat facing Diana monkeys and species conservation

According to IUCN the number of Diana monkeys in existence has reduced by almost a third in recent years. The decline is even drastic enough for the species to be classified as vulnerable on the Red List. There is only approx. 100 Diana monkeys kept in zoos around the globe at the present moment. There is an inventory management initiative currently taking place as part of the European preservation breeding programmes (EEP), which is being coordinated by Edinburgh Zoo. The closely-related roloway monkey is even standing on the brink of extinction. The reason for this is, as is too often the case, human activity. This is down to the destruction of their natural habitats and the hunting of the monkeys for the meat market. Tierpark Berlin plays a global role in the species conservation of numerous animals. Information about the various projects can be read here .


Would you like to help?


Tierpark Berlin is always happy to see more and more people involved in species conservation. If you would like to support the Tierpark in its work, then we are more than happy to inform you about our current fundraising projects.

You can also support your favourite animal personally at Tierpark Berlin by undertaking an animal sponsorship- for a lifelong friendship.

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