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Baby monkey from Buffalo Zoo is hand-raised in Des Moines

by jmaloni

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Thu, Jun 26th 2014 09:20 am

A baby Japanese macaque who was abandoned by his mother at the Buffalo Zoo is being hand-raised by keepers at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa.

The baby, named Nikko, was born June 5 at the Buffalo Zoo. Shortly after his birth, keepers noticed that his mother, 6-year-old Yuki, was not holding him. This indicated the first-time mom may not be caring for her newborn properly. Keeper staff retrieved the baby to warm him and give him fluids, and make sure he was healthy. After multiple attempts to reunite mother and baby, zoo staff determined the baby's best chance at survival was to be hand-raised.

After reaching out to multiple zoos with experience hand-raising Japanese macaques, officials in Buffalo learned the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines had a baby born on the same day under similar circumstances. Keepers there agreed to raise the baby from Buffalo along with their newborn, a female named Anika.

On June 7, just two days after Nikko's birth, a team of keepers from the Buffalo Zoo drove to Indiana to meet with a team from the Blank Park Zoo and hand-delivered Nikko to his new keepers.

Blank Park Zoo staff reports Nikko is thriving in his new home with his surrogate sister, Anika, and a third baby female who was born June 16.

The babies are not yet on exhibit for the public, so officials at the Blank Park Zoo have set up a live webcam where viewers can watch the macaques play and grow over the next few weeks. The feed can be found at www.blankparkzoo.com.

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