BECOMING A PRIMATE PRO... SORT OF
10 OF THE WEIRDEST PRIMATE SPECIES
#4 WESTERN RED COLOBUS
Also called the UPPER GUINEA RED COLOBUS
Common names are not officially defined. They are based on everyday conversational language and may differ by country, region, profession, community, or other factors. As a result, it is not unusual for a species to have more than one common name.
Scientific names are in Latin and they are written in italics. They are standardized and for everyone, no matter what language you may speak. They are bound by a formal naming system, called binominal nomenclature, that has strict rules. Scientific names prevent misidentification. Those names only change if a species, or its genus, is officially redesignated by experts.
The western red colobus monkey is native to the coast of West Africa in the countries of Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. They prefer primary or mature old growth forest, but they live in all levels of the tree canopy from moist forest to gallery forest alongside streams or rivers.
- Primarily arboreal, western red colobus monkeys occupy all levels of the rainforest
- They live in large groups of anywhere from 20 to 90 individuals
- They rarely descend to the ground, except when associating with Diana monkeys
- Their complex stomachs allow them to digest mature or even toxic foliage that other monkeys cannot; they have a ruminant-like multi-chambered stomach that is capable of digesting cellulose
Some of their threats consist include hunting for bushmeat, habitat loss and degradation from agriculture and human activities, and human intrusion and disturbances, including civil unrest.
- Western red colobus have very specific dietary and environmental needs. Those needs cannot possibly be met in human living conditions.
- To become pets, baby primates are stolen from their mothers. As a result, they do not develop normally emotionally.
- When taken from the wild, their mothers are killed to capture the baby.
- Primates are never domesticated. They always remain wild.
- Caged primates are very unhappy and frustrated. They are likely to resist confinement. They are quick and cause damaging bites and scratches. Some die as a result of their captivity.
- In their natural habitat, western red colobus monkeys live in large social groups. It is cruel to isolate them as pets.
- Many locations have strict regulations that prohibit trading in or keeping primates and endangered species are pets.
- Western red colobus monkeys belong with other colobus monkeys in their West African forests. They and their habitats must be protected, not exploited.