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      Baby patas monkey born at the Syracuse Zoo

      Patas monkey at the Syracuse zoo
      If you're looking for something to do for Mom for Mother??s Day this weekend, why not bring her to the Syracuse zoo to witness a bond between a mother monkey and her firstborn?

      A Patas Monkey was born at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo on April 29th, but we are just now getting our first look. The zoo announced the birth Friday.

      It could be a couple of weeks more before we know whether it's a boy or a girl.

      "From the minute the baby is born it gets cleaned off by the mom, and then it instinctively holds on as tight as it can because the mother, like any primate, doesn't want any predators to notice that they have a baby, that would be a good morsel for a predator," says Ted Fox, curator at the zoo. He says the mother monkey will try to act as normally as possible, going through her routine as normally as possible so as not to draw attention to her newborn.

      The nursing period can take up to six months, but Fox expects the baby to start moving away from Mama Patas Monkey, Becca, within the next couple of days. When the gender is known, a name will be chosen.

      So far, Becca is doing a wonderful job caring for her firstborn. Fox says she's likely learned from watching the other female monkeys in the group nurse their offspring.

      The most recent Patas Monkey birth at the zoo happened in November. Zarina is now almost six months old.

      Right now, you can meet Becca and her baby inside the Primate Building. Fox says it will be two weeks before they move in with the other monkeys.

      Patas monkeys belong to the Guenon family, and are native to the rainforest in Western Africa. Their face gives them away; they have a white area around their mouths that looks like a mustache, and a black brow ridge and nose.

      They can also move pretty fast -- up to 30 miles-per-hour.

      Only 15 zoos in the country have Patas Monkeys, including the zoo in Syracuse.

      The Association of Zoos, aquariums and zoos across the world are working to make sure the species survives.