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#MandrillMonday 9/10/17

By Mandrillus Sphinx and the R&H senior team

Posted October 09, 2017
mandrill monday 9/10/17

Check this out! Two new baby mandrills born at LA Zoo.

To date, there hasn't been much reason for anyone to visit the sleepy village of Los Angeles (LA), located on a remote stretch of the Californian coast in the United States of A.

However, that has all now changed with news that the local zoo has just witnessed the birth of two brand-new baby mandrills of both sexes.

According to a press release, the female baby was born this past August 3 to a five-year-old mother by the name of Juliette, while the male popped out of his mother Clementine's private parts a fortnight later.

Personally, I'm not too sure what to think about keeping animals in captivity but the press release kind of allays my fears a tad by stating that "the first-time mothers came to the LA Zoo from Parc Zoologique de La Palmyre in France in April 2016 to be paired with the first-time father, six-year-old Jabari, as part of a Species Survival Program (SSP) to strengthen the gene pool of this vulnerable species".

"This is a very new breeding group of mandrills that has only been together for about a year, so we're incredibly happy with how well things are going so far," says LA Zoo animal keeper L'Oreal Dunn.

"This species comes from a small area in Africa that isn't accessible to most people, so it's very special that our guests can now observe babies here for the first time in over 40 years."

The half siblings, the press release continues, "can be seen clinging tightly to their mothers, playing together and testing their boundaries" while "learning to navigate their new habitat, a rainforest-like environment that supplies the group with plenty of trees, logs and plant life to explore during the day and aerial lofts and ledges where they sleep at night".

new baby mandrill at los angeles zoo
Welcome to Earth! One of the new baby mandrills. © Jamie Pham

The babies, the Zoo reports, "were born without the signature red and blue stripes on their faces that people often associate with [this] unique-looking primate".

Worry not, though, because their father, "being the dominant male in the group, has the vibrant colouring on his elongated muzzle" that we here at the Rake & Herald all know and love so well.

But why all the colours in the first place?

Well, other than being well flippin' trippy, the red and blue striped skin on a mandrill's gorgeous face "is a sign to females that a male is ready to mate".

And take acid.


But don't feel left out, ladies, because female mandrills can also have colourful hues on their faces too, although "the markings tend to be paler in comparison".

More refined, see.

Mandrills may look like baboons, the press release notes, "but DNA studies have shown that they are more closely related to mangabeys".

In addition to having "shaggy, brown hair and short, stubby tails", blue and red skin on their boats and brightly-hued rumps, or arses, mandrills also have "extremely long canine teeth".

While these gnashers can be used for self-defence and/or ripping your throat out when they're thirsty, baring them "is typically a friendly gesture among mandrills".

Not natural urbanites, mandrills in the wild can be found mandrillin' about in the remaining rainforests of western Africa in Cameroon, Gabon and southwestern Congo.

Sadly, populations "are under threat and declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation caused by the spread of agriculture and human settlement".

They are also frequently hunted as bushmeat as many locals "consider them to be a delicacy".

Long live the mandrill, the power animal of the Rake & Herald!

And to welcome these two new additions to the physical plane, here's the fan-flippin'-tastic Stereo Total with a lovely little ditty about their new home, LA, CA, USA.

Have a mandrillin' week on Earth, folks!


See also #MandrillMonday 4/9/17, posted, er, 4/9/17.

Engage with the Rake & Herald on FaceBook here and Twitter here. Better still, buy a T-shirt here.

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