Black-and-white Colobus monkeys are known for their striking physical features including their glossy black colouring, a long, white mantle of hair that extends from their shoulders to their lower back, and some very long tails that end in a huge white tuft.
These stunning monkeys live in social groups of up to 15 individuals, normally led by a singular adult male. Black-and-white Colobuses can be seen bounding through tree canopies, leaping from branch to branch and emitting impressive roaring vocalisations. The woodland and forest habitats these guys are found in range from Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon in central western Africa, to Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania in the east of the continent.
Colobus babies look very different to their parents – they’re completely white! After a gestation period of only five months, mothers give birth to an infant that quickly becomes the focus of the troop’s attention, with the bub being carried around by most members of the family. After almost a year, the little one no longer needs to be fed by mum and becomes fully independent.
Not all Black-and-white Colobus monkeys are the same – eight subspecies are currently recognised. Sadly, many of these subspecies are under threat from deforestation and habitat destruction for agriculture. These gorgeous monkeys have also historically been hunted for their impressive pelts, and killed for the bushmeat trade.