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Colobus Monkey Born

          The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History (GPZ) today announced the birth of a male Colobus monkey, born May 30, 2021. The birth of this Colobus monkey makes a total of four that call the Great Plains Zoo home.

            Born to parents MaHale and Gonzo, the new baby is healthy and currently spending time bonding with mom. Colobus monkeys are a part of SSP, or Species Survival Plan, at Great Plains Zoo. A SSP is a breeding program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), with the goal of maintaining genetic diversity in animals whose numbers are declining in the wild. MaHale and Gonzo were paired together for breeding through the program. Colobus monkeys are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List (, and have declining numbers of mature males in the wild due to agriculture and energy production.

“Conserving species in need is one of our primary focuses here at your Zoo and we are thrilled to have this new addition to our Colobus family. Events like this are exciting for all involved and we are proud to share this news with the community! I would like to thank the team here at the Zoo for their tireless hard work and dedication to animals along with our zoo members and guests for their much-needed support,” Matt Eschenbrenner, Director of Animal Care and Conservation, said.

While both mom and baby are currently residing in a viewable habitat space within the Primate building, they have access to space off-exhibit for when they need a break from the public. The Primate building is open to the public, but the GPZ staff request visitors to please be respectfully quiet. It is important that mom and baby have a calm environment to continue the bonding process.

             The baby is currently without a name. Guests that attend this year’s Expedition ZooFalls fundraiser (or those that sign up to participate online) on Thursday, August 5, 2021 can bid to name the baby Colobus monkey on the silent auction. Tickets for the event, or to register online to participate in the silent auction, are at: Corporate sponsorships are still available for the event to help provide support to GPZ. Contact the development department at if you are interested.

“The birth of this Colobus monkey is exciting!  We want the community to be part of this opportunity to name this baby male Colobus as our way of thanking the Sioux Falls community for their support of their local zoo. Expedition ZooFalls is our premier fundraiser that helps support zoo development, such as our upcoming Black bear exhibit renovation.  It is with the support of our community that we can make Great Plains Zoo even greater,” Becky Dewitz, GPZ’s CEO said.

  • Love this zoo! Great place to get a walk in and the animals are everywhere! The museum/indoor part is very educational too. Has a lot of shade for when it's hot out. Very clean. Friendly staff.

    Taylor F.
  • We love to visit the zoo. They have great outdoor exhibits and lots to do inside as well. Great for kids and adults.

    Robin A.
  • Lots of great exhibits and animals to see! Fun gift shop and learning center.

    Stephanie N.
  • The museum gives you a break from the sun on hot summer days and has a great selection of animal exhibits from around the world. ¬†The zoo keeps growing and adding new animal habitats or improving existing ones. ¬†Membership offers reciprocal benefits to other zoos around the country.

    Bill T.