The Oregon Zoo announced the addition two new red-tailed monkeys, also known as red-tailed guenon, to its Africa Treetops exhibit on Oct. 10. The monkeys “Indi” and “Chichi” are still adapting to their new home, the zoo says, but can periodically be seen exploring their new surroundings or snuggling in the treetop nests.
Red-tailed monkeys are native to the lowland forests of Central Africa and have unique facial patterns that they use to recognize one another when living in larger groups of 20 to 30 primates. The monkeys reportedly communicate with complex chirps, croaks and alarm signals, combined with facial expressions and gestures.
The monkeys’ fluffy, white cheeks are used to store food, which can hold as much as their stomachs. Oregon Zoo primate supervisor Asaba Mukobi said that the old-world monkeys’ also have long, non-prehensile tails, which are used for climbing.
“They’re a lot of fun to watch,” Mukobi said. “Red-tailed monkeys are excellent climbers thanks to their long tails, and Indi and Chichi are no exception.”
Indi and Chichi were transferred to the Oregon Zoo from the Louisville Zoo. The move was recommended by the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative program among accredited zoos to promote sustainable, genetically diverse populations of at-risk species. Red-tailed monkeys are not considered to be endangered, but are threatened by human-caused problems like deforestation, hunting and intrusion.
The Oregon Zoo’s red-tailed monkeys can be found between the rhino and giraffe exhibits.