Trunkline Magazine (Louisville Zoo) December 2018 - Page 5

age, they stuff their cheek pouches with food and then scurry off to a secluded retreat to enjoy their boun- ty. They mainly eat fruits, insects and small animals such as lizards. Colobus monkeys: Radi, Shel- don, Leonard and Rajesh Also arriving at the Louisville Zoo are four male colobus monkeys from Columbus Zoo in Ohio. In the remnant wild, colobus monkeys spend almost their entire lives in the trees and rarely touch the ground. They don’t even need to come down for water as they find enough in the treetops to survive. The trees are where they eat their diet of leaves, unripe fruit, seeds, flowers and bark, as well as relax and socialize with each other. Individual family groups need only a small patch of forest to live in; this may sometimes result in the monkeys coexisting with people on the edge of villages where clus- ters of trees remain intact. However, Colobus monkey these small forest fragments are quickly disappearing. Habitat destruction due to palm oil production, mining, logging, hu- man settlement and agriculture are consuming their remaining habitat at an alarming rate. These pri- mates are often forced to creatively compete with humans for natural resources as human populations expand into habitats previously oc- cupied primarily by wildlife. The good news is that conser- vation groups are working to help these vulnerable monkeys. Colobus Crossing will feature a method that humans are implementing to help protect wildlife and address the unrelenting competition for space: “colobridges.” In Kenya, these pas- sageways are built well above the ground to provide a safe way for primates and other tree-dwelling wildlife to cross busy roads. In the new exhibit, you will be able to watch as the colobus and Schmidt’s monkeys investigate simi- lar passageways right over your head while you use the paths underneath. While you relax on the expanded deck of the African Outpost, a scenic view into their world will be revealed, giving you the feeling that you're peering through trees on the edge of the rainforest and into a grassy clearing where the mon- keys explore deadfall created from Osage orange trees. From this grassy clearing, a "minimalist metal tree Above: A platform serves as a "metal tree canopy," creating a fun space for the primates to explore as well as an innovative space for keeper training sessions. Below: Original rendering of the exhibit and its colobridges. canopy" rises from the ground creat- ing a fun space for the primates to explore and challenging new training opportunities for the Zoo keep- ers. The Zoo keepers will use these “metal tree canopies” to climb up to the monkey’s level and interact with them above ground, reinforcing and encouraging the animal’s natural be- haviors. This also creates a wonderful vantage point for Zoo guests. The Schmidt’s red-tailed monkeys planned for the new exhibit also ar- rive with breeding recommendations from their Species Survival Plan (SSP). SSPs are a coordinated effort to manage threatened or endangered species, facilitate healthy and geneti- cally diverse populations in managed Louisville Zoo Trunkline • Winter 2018 • 5