Colobus Monkeys in Uganda : Colobus monkeys are among the oldest monkeys in the world, they are commonly found in thick tropical forests for example in Budongo forest, Bwindi impenetrable, Kibale forest national parks in Uganda- where they can easily be seen on your Uganda safari. Colobus monkeys are among the highly endangered primates in Africa more so the king colobus. They usually grow up to about 30 inches long, they live in groups, the grownups weight between 15 to 30 kg and they live up to 30 years while in the wilderness and 20 in captivity.
There are two colobus monkey species, which include the black and white colobus, which is the commonest type and then the Red colobus monkey, they are found in about 15 countries in Africa but in a huge population is found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The black and white are the most popular and have over the years become very interesting tourists attractions that every tourist would like to see during a primate tour in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo.
The Black And White Colobus Monkeys
These are also in two groups which are the Angolan black and white colobus monkeys scientifically called colobus angolensis and the Eastern black and white colobus which are scientifically called the colobus guereza.
The red colobus monkeys are just like the white and black except for the color. There are plenty of them in western, eastern and central Africa. They also prefer living in the humid forest except for the Zanzibar red colobus, which prefer the coastal scrubs as well as thickets. The red colobus are mostly threatened since they are more affected by hunting and habitat destruction.
How the live and diet
The black and white live in a group of about 3-15 members, there is usually only 1 grownup males colobus which establishes dominance over the females and the little ones. The bachelors tend to form their own groups. Meanwhile the red colobus for larger groups and a group can have more than one male.
Colobus monkeys are omnivorous animals and the fact that they live in the forest, they feed on leaves in large quantity since leave are low in nutrition, flowers, fruits, buds, twigs. The male black and white colobus often guides the others when hunting for food. To help in the speed and effectiveness of the digestion, they often feed on charcoal or clay, which eliminates toxins. The Red colobus do split into smaller groups with 2 or so males when its time to hunt for food and at the end of the day, they will reunite and the males always defend their groups when attacked.
Gestation period for the Colobus monkeys
They generally have a gestation period of 6 months and give birth to a single young one, which is usually entirely white with pink face if it is a white and black baby but the red one often exhibits a red color on its coat. The mothers are the main caregivers, they carry their babies close to the chest and they nurse them until they are ready to stay safe on their own.
Some Red colobus care for the little females for about one and half years and they nurse the males until they are 3 or 4 years when they are ready to mate. On average, these red colobus have about three and half years between births which is one of the reasons for their low birthrate and thus low population.
Colobus monkeys can always babysit another monkey’s baby easily.
The predators for the Colobus monkeys
The main predators are the chimpanzees and although the chimpanzees feed on the fruits, insects, leaves and plants. Research indicates that chimpanzees are responsible for the death of up to 12% of the infants and female colobus monkeys. Humans hunt mostly the red colobus for their beautiful skins; carnivorous animals like the lions, hyenas also attack them.