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      Zoo welcomes baby Patas monkey

      The baby Patas monkey and mother / Courtesy: Amelia Beamish, Rosamond Gifford Zoo

      There TMs a new addition to the family at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

      The zoo announced Thursday the birth of a baby Patas monkey, which they say was born early in the morning on January 7 to parents Addie and M.J.. Zoo officials say they do not yet know the gender of the baby, and it may be several weeks before the new monkey is named.

      "We take a 'hands-off' approach with all primates at the zoo to ensure proper socialization within the group," said Ted Fox, curator at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. "Addie is a wonderful mother and has successfully raised offspring in the past. She is very protective of the baby, only allowing her daughter, Sara, to touch it."

      The zoo says they are one of only 15 in the country to house Patas monkeys. It TMs part of a collaborative effort between the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and zoos around the world to help ensure their survival.

      According to the zoo, Patas monkeys are members of the Guenon family, a diverse group of African monkeys found from the rainforest of Western Africa through the savannahs of Kenya. With their slender bodies and long limbs, patas monkeys are better physically suited for a life on the ground rather than up in the trees. They are one of the fastest primates, capable of reaching speeds upwards of 30 mph. Patas are recognized by a black brow ridge and nose, as well as by a distinctive white area surrounding their mouths that resembles a mustache.

      For more information on the zoo or the Patas monkeys, call (315) 435-8511 or visit the zoo's website at