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Press Room
May 17, 2019

COAL VALLEY, Ill. (April 17, 2019)– Niabi Zoo celebrated the opening of its newest exhibit, which features two new African primate species never before seen in the Quad Cities: a 9-year-old male Wolf’s Guenon named Azul, and a 6-year-old male Allen’s Swamp monkey named Azizi.

Today, the Niabi Zoo team gathered with members of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce and local leaders to celebrate the opening of this special exhibit.

These two new primates, referred to as “The A-Team,” have a brand-new habitat to call home at the zoo. The area allows guests to partake in educational and interactive elements while watching the social animals.

“These primates are so unique and fun to watch,” said Tammy Schmidt, assistant director, Niabi Zoo. “I invite the public to observe these two new primates with us to see what they’re saying and indicating by not uttering a word.”

The Niabi team has reimagined the existing giraffe barn and crafted a space tailored to these species while still providing educational areas for guests. The new habitat’s design includes high and low areas for feedings and resting spots, rocky contours, and a heat and light source that mimics the sun so that the monkeys receive UVA and UVB rays to stay healthy.

“Both of these monkeys are arboreal which means they move through trees climbing and sometimes brachiating,” Schmidt said. “They are native to low-land forested areas. It was very important to us to mimic their environment as much as possible.”

The Wolf’s Guenon and the Allen’s Swamp Monkey are both managed populations, native to treacherous areas of the African Congo where both species are at risk for being hunted as wild meat.

Niabi will not only serve as a safe haven for Azizi and Azul; it will also provide the community with a chance to learn about the lively species.

“Any new species at Niabi means that we’re moving forward,” Schmidt said. “It’s exciting for us and our community to keep learning and growing.”

Azul is a 9-year-oldWolf’s Guenon, which is commonly:

  • Found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through Uganda
  • Considered diurnal (active in the day)
  • Social: Vocally and visually
  • Arboreal quadruped (uses all four limbs to move throughout tree branches)

Azizi is a 6-year-old Allen’s Swamp Monkey, which is commonly:

  • Found in the upper and Eastern basins of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Western Zaire
  • Considered diurnal (active in the day)
  • Arboreal (live in trees)
  • Semi-terrestrial (live mostly on land, but needs to be near water)

Visitors can see the new monkeys now. The zoo is open for the season from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days per week. Visitors can also learn about these species every Wednesday at noon during Niabi Zoo’s free Zookeeper Chats.

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