The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is making history this week when they introduced an orphaned baby Patas monkey named Iniko to part of their monkey troop. Iniko entered a large exhibit in the zoo’s Social Animals wing to integrate her into her real family.
For the last six months of her life she was fed and cared for by two human foster parents, making her the first baby patas monkey raised in human care into her real family.
“Iniko has become full-fledged socialized patas monkey,” Zoo Director Ted Fox said. “This is something we’ve been striving for since the day she was born, lost her mother and had to be raised in human care. She has come into her own as a well-adjusted little monkey who has bonded with other members of her species.”
Iniko’s story began June 8, 2020, when her mother, Becca, went into kidney failure during labor and underwent an emergency C-section. When Becca didn’t make it, Zoo Curator Dan Meates opted to bring the baby home along with an isolette, bottle feeding supplies and determination to help the 12-ounce infant survive.
Dan and his wife Zookeeper Leisje spent the pandemic shutdown caring for the baby monkey as Central New Yorkers followed her story. They named her Iniko, a Nigerian word meaning “Born during troubled times.”
Today she has become part of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo family and can be seen on your next visit, Ted says. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is open seven days a week from 10am to 4:30pm. To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit RosamondGiffordZoo.org.