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Zach at the Zoo: Meet the Angolan Colobus

Posted at 7:18 AM, May 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-16 08:18:37-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — In this week's edition of Zach at the Zoo, we are better introduced to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium's two Angolan Colobus monkeys — Msiri and Tabitha.

  • Msiri is an 18-year-old male who is curious, and jumps around his exhibit.
  • Tabitha is a 24-year-old female wh ois more relaxed and loves to eat.
  • Both love to soak up the sun in their exhibits at the Hubbard Gorilla Valley


Today’s visit is all about --

“My favorite monkey, which is the Angolan colobus,” Great Ape Keeper Callie Nanfito said.

Two of them call Omaha home.

“Tabitha is our female, and she is 24 years old. Msiri is our male, and he is 18 years old,” Nanfito said.

Both have their own flare.

“That’s Msiri. His white tufts on his ears stick out a little bit more. He’s a lot more active. He’s kind of bouncing around the exhibit a lot,” she shared.

“And then Tabitha, her hair is a little bit more slicked back. She’s always eating. So, she’s always looking for leaves.”

When the duo is monkeying around, their long tails and jumping ability help them move swiftly through their habitat.

Along with another unique characteristic.

“They actually have a really, really small thumb and just a little nail on it. That’s an adaptation they developed because they are always swinging through the trees and holding on to branches while they’re eating,” Nanfito said.

“So, it kind of acts like a hook to be able to hook on to the trees — similar to spider monkeys.”

But rest and relaxation are important too.

“That has kind of become Msiri’s favorite spot,” she pointed to a lounging Msiri and laughed.

Go ahead Msiri – make yourself comfortable!

“When they’re not eating, which is what they are doing most of the time, they’re just resting and sunbathing in the sun,” Nanfito said.

When they are eating –

“They have different stomachs that are similar to cows. Because they are mostly brows eaters, they eat a lot of leaves, and bark, and seeds,” she said. “Most monkeys will eat fruits and other types of flowers and such, which are a little bit easier to digest.”

That diet plays a big role in Kenya and Tanzania.

“They’re really important to the forests in Africa because they’re really good at seed dispersal.”

Here in Omaha, they get spoiled with some other foods, too.

“She’s eating one of their favorite treats, which is peanuts,” Nanfito said. “They love peanuts.”

You can catch them snacking and sunbathing —

“They’re just hanging out. Yeah,” Nanfito laughed.

— at the Hubbard Gorilla Valley.