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Zoo's baby boom is monkey business

THE summer baby boom continues at Dublin Zoo, with a newborn monkey that loves hanging out with its mother.

The recent birth of a white-crowned mangabey, Sunyani, has added to the zoo's ever-expanding creche.

The baby monkey joins a collection of animals born at the zoo in recent weeks including a blackbuck calf, a 6ft baby giraffe, a macaque monkey and a two-month-old gorilla, Kituba.

Zookeepers have named the youngster Sunyani, which is a region in Ghana.

"It's still too early to distinguish the sex of the newborn," said Helen Clarke-Bennet, a team leader at the zoo.

"We are particularly proud of baby Sunyani as it is the first second-generation birth among our group of mangabeys."

Like most species' newborn babies, Sunyani is currently spending a lot of time clinging to its mother Monifa but over the next year will gradually become more independent.

Originally from Western Africa, the mangabeys are among the rarest monkeys in the world.

"The ongoing goal is to build species," said Dublin Zoo's Ciaran McMahon.

"It has been a strong season for newborns and we've had a few high-profile births, like baby gorilla Kituba and the giraffe calf.

"We're hoping the rest of the summer brings a few more births -- and if it does, it looks like we'll have to start hiring a few babysitters."

Irish Independent